You may have heard that stepping into a saunas after a workout or at the spa can be a great way to relax and sooth aching muscles. While this is very true there are several additional health benefits which can come from regular sauna use.
Many studies are showing that regular sauna use has a strong correlation with life longevity. We are also starting to understand the biological mechanisms by which saunas act upon the body. In order detox the body, improve immunity, aid in weight loss, and much more….
Will regular sauna usage improve your longevity?
This Finnish study says yes: sauna bathing two to three times per week is associated with a 24 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. While sauna bathing four to seven times per week is associated with a 40 percent reduction. That study exhibits a dose-response relationship. The longer and more frequent your sauna sessions are, the longer you tend to live.
Sauna usage is also strongly associated with a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Another study has found that using a sauna two to three times a week is associated. With a 23 percent decrease in fatal cardiovascular incidents. Such as heart attacks, while sauna bathing four to seven times a week is associated with a 48 percent decrease in fatal cardiovascular incidents.
Doctors usually recommend that people with cardiovascular diseases avoid sauna bathing. However several studies have found that this is overly conservative. According to a 2006 article co-authored by Kukkonen-Harjula. Sauna use “did not appear to be particularly risky to patients with hypertension, coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure, when they were medicated and in a stable condition..”
Also, sauna usage should be avoided if you have recently had a heart attack but is usually safe if your heart condition is stable.
For healthy, sober people the risks appear to be minimal. The most important things are to stay hydrated, take short breaks every 10 to 20 minutes to rehydrate. And take a break if you start to feel uncomfortable or overheated.
Risks of Spending Time in the Sauna
While the initial intake assessments of these men included several objective measurements like blood pressure and blood sample analysis. The researchers did not get updated information about the subjects’ ongoing sauna habits during the 20-year follow up. And could not verify if the initial habit continued uniformly during that time period.
In addition, the men were gathered from a community accustomed to regular dry sauna use. And the scientists caution that steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas set to lower temperatures may not offer the same apparent benefits. People with low blood pressure should be aware that a decrease in blood pressure typically occurs immediately after a sauna session. Finally, alcohol use has been linked to sudden death within 24 hours of using a sauna.
The authors also suggest future investigation of the risks or benefits of sauna use for older women. Along with research into the source of the positive heart changes in a sauna setting.
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