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Sauna Time for Your Health

Beauty woman with lily in hair relaxing in saunaCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Ula Konopko share with Healthy Lombard that using a sauna has many health benefits for the body. There are different kinds of saunas, the most common are traditional dry saunas and infrared saunas. In the dry heat of the sauna, a person can sweat about a pint of sweat; the sauna’s high heat produces many health benefits, so giving the sauna a try may yield many health benefits.

Health benefits with sauna use
According to an article in Harvard Health (2020), while in a sauna, the pulse rate may increase by 30% which allows the heart to nearly double in rate per minute. This improved circulation helps decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, muscle soreness, joint movement, and pain, moreover, the cells in the heart itself receive increased circulation. The effect on the body is similar to that of exercise; sauna use may actually result in benefits that are similar to the benefits from exercise.

An infrared sauna uses light to create heat; this heats the body rather than the air to create an environment unlike a traditional sauna. Dr. Bauer (2020) has found in the outcomes of several studies that infrared saunas are beneficial in treating chronic diseases such as, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sauna for your stress
Saunas have also been found to reduce stress. Sitting in the sauna increases circulation and promotes relaxation and combined with the heat, facilitates the release of endorphins allowing one to feel better and usually, happier. The perception of pain may be diminished due to the body’s reaction to the heat, the muscles relax, so people with tense muscles can feel better with sauna sessions. While in the sauna you could also meditate which adds to the relaxation.

Be careful in the sauna
While the sauna can provide several health-related benefits, there risks that need to be considered as well. Before and after sauna use, it is important to drink plenty of water to replace the fluid lost from excessive sweating that occurs. It is also advised to not spend more than 20 minutes in the sauna at a given time, especially if it is the first time sitting in a sauna. Begin with a 5-minute session and increase slowly to adjust to the dry heat. Lastly, since the sauna may potentially lower blood pressure, people with already low blood pressures should talk with their healthcare provide before beginning sauna use. Overall, be careful and have a good time in the sauna while at the same time, improving your health.

References:

Bauer, Brent A. “Do Infrared Saunas Have Any Health Benefits?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 June 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/infrared-sauna/faq-20057954.

“Sauna Health Benefits: Are Saunas Healthy or Harmful?” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, 14 May 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/saunas-and-your-health.

 

 

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