Most Americans, even if they are fitness conscious hardly spare a thought about the sauna in the local gym but in Finland, saunas are a big thing. If you had thought there was nothing much to sweating it out in a heated closet, you would be surprised to know that there are multiple health benefits that can make the activity worthwhile. Some of the top health and fitness benefits of saunas:
How Sweating It Out In a Sauna Can Give a Big Boost to Your Health
- Provides Excellent Workout
According to German researchers, spending 25 minutes in the sauna is the same as having a moderate workout on a stationary cycle. The heat is found to put stress on the heart in the same way as a workout with the heart rate and blood pressure rising in the time spent in the sauna and dropping thereafter.
- Improves Mental Health
Studies have revealed that a session in the sauna can make both the body and mind relax. According to a profession at the University of Eastern Finland, people who undergo frequent sauna baths have a lesser tendency of developing psychotic disorders since it improves autonomic nervous system balance of the heart that has many benefits.
- Helps to Keep Blood Pressure in Check
According to a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, sauna sessions are very effective in managing blood pressure issues. The high temperature in the sauna opens up the blood vessels and also makes you sweat more; apparently, both these factors play a vital role in reducing blood pressure. Moreover, the relaxing effect provided by the sauna acts to reduce your blood pressure as well.
- Boosts the Immune System
Spending time in the sauna can raise the counts of white blood cells, basophil, lymphocyte, and neutrophil. This means that the immune system is stimulated and you will be more resistant to flu, cold, and other infections. Normally, biochem testing kits are used by laboratory technicians to diagnose the presence of antibodies that cause infections and require treatment through medicines. According to scientists, the sauna creates stress that boosts the immune system.
- Improved Heart Function
According to studies, people who regularly visited the sauna are less likely to die of heart disease. Scientists think that regular sauna sessions strengthen the dilation of the blood vessels and reduce stiffness of the arteries, which result in the improvement of the autonomic nervous system regulation and results in lowering of the systemic blood pressure. According to research, the health benefit derived from saunas resembles those that are obtained from exercise.
- Lowers the Risk of Strokes
A report in the Neurology journal observes that those who had four to seven sauna sessions per week were less likely to have a stroke. This is applicable for healthy people as well as for those suffering from diseases known to increase the risk of stroke, such as diabetes. Even those who were obese had sedentary lifestyles or were in the habit of consuming alcohol benefited. While the exact reasons are still not very clear, scientists think that a combination of all the healthy things about sauna may be responsible.
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