You deserve a moment after all the hard work, especially in a whirlwind of negativity and pressure. Allot even just an hour and do the things that you love and find ways to get rejuvenated.
One way is to let the steam off and loosen up those tense muscles and be in the zone. Have yourself a “Sunday,” book in your favorite spa, and be zen in a sauna room.
Sauna is just not a treatment, in some other countries, a sauna is part of tradition and culture that can be traced back to 2,000 BC in some countries in Europe.
Here are 7 benefits of sauna that have been scientifically proven and highly recommended by experts:
1. Improve Heart Health
A study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, that participated with more than 3000 men aged 42 to 60 years who had repeated sauna treatments found to be effective on cardiovascular health, specifically, coronary health diseases.
Repeated sauna treatment improves endothelial function in patients with coronary health disease risk factors and heart failure, suggesting a preventive role of thermal therapy for endothelium (the membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels).
Separately, the sauna heat may be the “one major factor,” said researcher Tanjaniina Laukkanen, of the University of Eastern Finland, in Kuopio.
For Laukkanen, heat generates sweating, “That’s like a natural diuretic effect — lowering blood pressure and decreasing the workload of the heart.”
2. Helps Flush Toxins
Expect to be sweating a lot, due to the heat and steam, thus enabling your body to flush out those unwanted toxins — that’s like working out but you’re just sitting there enjoying the peaceful mood.
The physiological responses produced by an ordinary sauna bath correspond to those produced by easy to moderate physical activity such as walking.
In skincare, as the steam penetrates the skin, sweat glands open, then sweating occurs. When the body starts to produce sweat, sweating rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and dead skin cells are being replaced.
3. It Can Protect You From Colds And Influenza
As the body is exposed to the sauna heat, it produces white blood cells which happen to fight illnesses and help kill viruses.
Moreover, when the sauna produces steam, it can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion from colds or allergies.
4. Great Stress Reliever
After a whole weekend of hustling and bustling at work, a 20-minute sauna can release all that tension in your body while making your mind at peace.
As the heat starts to circulate, it promotes relaxation and can improve your well-being, and regulates the level of cortisol in our blood.
Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone, and too high levels of cortisol can lead to several health issues.
Sauna bathing reduces the levels of cortisol in our blood, thus stimulating the production of serotonin. Serotonin is our “happy hormone” that stabilizes your mood and happiness.
5. It Has Musculoskeletal Effects
Sauna bathing has been linked to an improvement in pain and symptoms associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
“There are people who have chronic muscle and joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, etc. Studies have shown that saunas can help with pain and fatigue associated with those conditions,” says Dr. Ai Mukai, physical medicine and rehab specialist at Texas Orthopedics.
6. It Has Recreational Benefits
Having to sit in a small but tranquil spot is an effective route to self-care. Although, sauna rooms can also be a place for socialization, meeting with friends, and soon-to-be acquaintances.
With that, it brings your body to a peaceful place and helps you achieve better mental well-being.
7. Induces Sleep
Hopping into the sauna may help your sleeping patterns. Dr. Rob Danoff, Doctor of Family Medicine in Pennsylvania recommends people suffering from insomnia but reminds them to take caution.
Dr. Danoff suggests asking your doctors beforehand, especially if you are taking any medications, planning to get pregnant, and are an asthmatic patient.
How To Prepare
Before stepping into the sauna room, experts recommend drinking one to two glasses of water and rinsing off in a shower. After your session, it is best to wait for your body to cool down and refresh your system with another glass of water.
People should enjoy their sauna session for just 15-20 minutes, because it may cause dehydration due to intense sweating.