Did you know that saunas have been used since the ancient times for health benefits? Usually, when I think of one, I get a silly smile on my face and slip into a tiny daydream about sitting around, being pampered, and a whole lot of cucumber water around. While most people tend to think of the sauna as a luxurious place, the original function for them is much simpler, and one we might want to adopt!
While it is said to have originated from the Finnish and Nordic regions of Europe, the Asian people had their form of sauna way earlier that was used for spiritual healing processes. Whatever the history might have been, sauna has evolved to be a luxury that people all over the world want to introduce in their lifestyle.
Sauna comprises of a room which is used for heat sessions, either dry or wet. This is one of the best ways to work up a sweat that is good for your both your mind and body. Put away the running shoes for now, let’s explore the top 10 benefits of saunas for your health instead.
Deep sweating has several health benefits and no matter how messy and untidy you feel; it adds to your health. With a simple sauna session, you can get the benefits of deep sweating like increased blood flow, and a reduction in the level of zinc, lead, mercury and other toxins that find their way inside your body from the polluted environment we live in. Many physiotherapists and doctors recommend saunas over any other detoxification methods out there.
2. Relieve Stress
The stress of work and family life can take its toll on our health. It, in turn, can lead to various stress-related illnesses like a migraine and heart problems. Saunas are known to ease the tension on your body while regulating blood flow and heart rate. All of this while also increasing endorphins for that happy, relaxed state of mind that is ever fleeting in today’s busy schedule.
3. Promotes Beauty
Did you know that time in spent in the sauna can make you more radiant? With each sauna session, your body and face lose dead skin cells. Your pores are opened, and the dirt and oil that clogs them are loosened and pushed out. Not a pretty picture to imagine, but it comes with great results.
Say goodbye to breakouts, itching, or other skin issues and hello to soft beautiful skin.
4. Weight Loss
Have you ever heard the saying “if you’re not sweating, you’re not working?” This is because your body needs a lot of energy to release sweat, which comes from burning unwanted fat in your body. This is exactly what you’ll be doing in the sauna.
Now I’ve always thought it was kind of cheating to be losing weight while sitting around just being hot, not exercising, but if it works it works. One sauna session can burn up to 300-500 calories!
5. Fights illness and improves immunity
German studies show that people who opt for regular sauna sessions tend to catch the flu, cold, and influenza up to 70% less than an average person**. When your body is exposed to heat and sweat is released, the production of white blood cells in the body increases, making your defense system stronger. The heat also kills numerous virus and infection causing organisms on the surface. The next time you have a cough or a little congestion, you might want to hit the sauna first before the doctors.
6. Increases endurance level
Sitting in a sauna makes you hot for long periods of time. While this can be slightly uncomfortably for some, it actually is working to build up your body’s tolerance to heat. This means that your body will be better at regulating it’s temperature and staying comfortable while doing more physical activities and workouts like sports or running.
7. Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Get a work out sitting down. Sounds almost too good to be true. The heat in the saunas raises your body’s core temperature, which causes your blood vessels to dilate and increases your cardiac output. On average, a person’s heart rate can increase to 120-150 beats per minute, then returns to normal when cooling off. A perfect little exercise for your heart and endurance.
Researchers show that after a session of sauna, people tend to have a more comfortable and deep sleep. This could be due to a number of reasons- release of tension, better circulation or due to detoxification.
9. Relieves muscle and body ache
The increased blood circulation experience in a sauna helps heal body aches. The better the circulation, the more relaxed and eased your muscles are. This is great if you’ve been sitting in an office all day or recovering from soreness after a heavy workout or other physical activities.
10. Promotes Social Interaction
A great way to hangout with friends or meet new people. Public saunas, can be a great networking place, or just a nice place to meet someone you might never have crossed paths with.
Well, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself, er, I mean, get that work out you’ve been putting off, by getting yourself to a local sauna now. I mean, sometimes sacrifices just have to be made to keep healthy.