The Top Health Benefits of Saunas
Saunas are the ultimate in relaxation. A daily steam bath will leave you feeling invigorated and refreshed. But did you know that beyond the warm relaxing feeling, there are actual health benefits to sitting in a sauna? Dedicating 15 to 20 minutes a day to your sauna can improve your overall wellness through a deep, healthy, and cleansing sweat.
1. Stress reduction. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, and it’s no surprise that it’s not good for the body. Overabundant amounts of cortisol wreak havoc on your immune system as well as affect your quality of sleep. Fortunately, relaxing in a sauna stimulates the production of the “happiness” hormone, serotonin, which will make you feel much better and can even temporarily relieve your stress.
2. Relief from muscle pain. You’d be surprised to find that the effects of a few minutes in the sauna could rival even a Swedish massage when it comes to you loosening those knots. Just sitting in a sauna when you feel pain or muscle soreness results in the release of endorphins. These chemicals create a feel-good effect on your muscles and help your body relax, loosening up those tight, overworked muscles.
3. Detoxifying. Saunas can help your body detoxify itself. The heat and warmth greatly increase your core body temperature which results in sweating. Sweat releases toxins through your pores, eliminating them from your body. It’s true that 99 percent of the body’s sweat is water, however, a deep sweat from a sauna bath can reduce the levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel and mercury, as well as chemicals you may not even know your body is ingesting on a daily basis. Be sure to hydrate well after your sauna bath.
4. Brain Power. Did you know that saunas are also good for your mental health and wellness? A Finnish study in 2016 found that regular sauna use by men, roughly 4 to 7 times a week, resulted in a 65 percent reduction risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those who used it about once a week. Sauna use, especially post-workout, is also said to help increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein expression, which helps promote nerve cell survival and growth.
5. Sleepy Time. Ask anyone who is a frequent sauna bather how it impacts their sleeping habits, and their answer would probably be the same — they sleep significantly better! There’s something about that relaxing, warm environment that often results in a deeper, more relaxed sleep afterward. If you’re struggling with inconsistent sleep patterns, definitely try sitting in your sauna an hour before you want to go to bed to allow yourself maximum relaxation.
6. Clear Skin. You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of incorporating steam into your weekly beauty routine. Steam opens your pores and loosens dirt for a deeper cleanse. Now, imagine when you do it for your whole body. Not only is the skin thoroughly cleared through sweating out toxins, but dead skin cells are also replaced. The steam also helps improve circulation throughout your body, leaving you with healthy, clear and glowing skin.
7. Fights Disease & Congestion. German research has shown that regular use of a sauna can positively impact your chances of fighting colds and the flu. The steam bath increases the production of your white blood cells, which are key when giving your immune system a boost. Even if you do get the flu or a cold, sitting in a sauna can help calm your sinuses and relieve the congestion.
8. Lose Weight. You probably wonder how it’s even possible to lose weight by sitting still. But in a sauna you’re doing more than just sitting still. You’re constantly sweating. Estimates show that an average person weighing 150 pounds will burn 84 calories when sitting in a sauna for 30 minutes. That’s pretty impressive for minimal activity.
When it comes to incorporating a sauna into your daily routine, you may have a few questions. Give the sauna experts at Pool & Spa Depot a call to learn more about the different types of saunas available and how you can start benefiting from one today.