Ever wondered what the legitimate health benefits are of sitting in a room full of steam or infrared light, sweating your butt off? You’re not the only one.
While treatments such as cryotherapy, hypnosis, and vampire facials are considered wellness splurges, a session in the sauna is perhaps the most simple and effective thing you can do to improve your health. And it won’t break the bank, either.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of saunas, let this blog blow you away with a few fascinating health facts.
The Benefits of Saunas: How to Boost Your Health With Heat
Who thought that profuse sweating could actually be that good for you? Well, it is, but bear in mind that the sweat you experience in a sauna and during exercise is quite different. This means that your sauna sessions should, in no way, replace your workout regime. In fact, it should supplement it.
Wondering how to truly reap the benefits of a sauna session? Don’t spend longer than 20-30 minutes inside the sauna, because that’s all you need. Here’s how your health will thank you:
1. Minimize Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Remember what we said about your workouts and your sauna sessions working together? This is why. Spending time in a sauna is beneficial for tired, overworked muscles, which helps to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS.
Infrared saunas, in particular, help to penetrate the neuromuscular system, which promotes muscle recovery. It can also stimulate the production of human growth hormone, which helps to promote fat breakdown and muscle formation.
2. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Cases of hypertension are on the rise in the U.S., with almost half of adult America affected by high blood pressure. This is largely attributed to poor diet, an increase in obesity rates, and stress. If you’re looking to manage your blood pressure, whether it’s high or as a preventative measure, sauna sessions are a good idea.
How does this work? Your blood vessels dilate as you sit in a sauna, which helps to regulate a better-timed blood flow. As a result, your blood pressure stabilizes. Bear in mind that you must discuss the use of a sauna with your doctor if you suffer from severe hypertension.
3. Boost Your Immunity
As a general rule-of-thumb, your sauna sessions should not be the only way you break a sweat. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can do wonders for your immune system alone.
But if you’re looking for a little boost, sauna sessions can be beneficial as they help to increase white blood cell count. The higher your white blood cell count, the more protected your immunity.
4. Saunas Offer a Toxic Flush
Unless you’re an athlete or a hard laborer, you’re probably not sweating as much as your body needs on a daily basis. This is where saunas can be very beneficial.
Sweating is healthy, in fact, it’s absolutely necessary in order to remove waste and other toxins from the body, besides the other obvious methods! A sauna is one of the best ways to supplement your sweating and flush toxins out of the body, including elements such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic.
If you’re feeling sluggish, lethargic, or generally unhealthy, try a few sessions in the sauna to flush out your system.
5. It Offers Major Stress Relief
Saunas have been touted as a great form of stress relief for many years now. There are a number of reasons why, but most notably, it’s the fact that you’ve taken the time to step inside the sauna and relax. The act of taking time for yourself and blocking out the rest of the world is the purest form of stress relief.
Sitting in a sauna also releases a rush of endorphins. An increase in heart rate due to the heat and profuse sweating results in a flush of these ”feel good” hormones in your system. Endorphins are great for stress relief — hello, exercise!
You can also choose to enjoy your sauna time with a companion or friends. This is a great opportunity to relax and socialize with the important people in your life. This, itself, is a great form of stress relief and escapism.
6. Improve Your Quality of Sleep
The rush of endorphins inside your body after using a sauna can help to induce better quality sleep. Ideally, you want to use the sauna before bed as your body temperature and level of endorphins naturally declines.
The heat of a sauna is also very calming and soothing, it relaxes the muscles, and mind, which helps to reduce sleep latency, too.
7. Fend off Illness and Infection
As mentioned, an increase in white blood cells boosts your immune system. This is a great way to keep illness and other infections at bay, and can also help to fight off viruses already within your body.
To add to this, saunas are great for combating issues with congestion, either caused by colds or allergies. The heat and steam (of more traditional saunas) open up the airways and can help you to breathe better. For added congestion relief, rub a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on your chest area before getting into the sauna.
Health News for the Health Addict
The benefits of saunas are undisputed. The next time you have the opportunity to use one, don’t pass it up. And if you’re looking for a quick way to boost your health, a sauna session is your go-to. Make it part of your health and fitness routine and you could be surprised by the benefits.
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