Provides a cardiovascular workout and increases blood circulation
The heat of a sauna increases skin and body core temperatures. In responce to the heat, the blood vessels near the skin dilate and cardiac output increases. Research shows the heart rate can rise from 60-70 beats per minute to 110-120 beats per minute and can often sink to below normal after cooling off. With regular use , we not only train your heart muscles and improve the heart rate/cardiac output and positively influence the regulatory system. Increased cardiovascular conditions occurs when the sauna is used in multiple sections separated by cooling off in a shower or pool. Every time you rapidly change your body temperature from hot to cool and back again, your heart rate increases which is comparable to a moderate workout.
Burns calories and aids in weight loss
False claims are often made by some sauna sellers, primarily sellers of infrared to promote saunas as a weight loss tool. While some people may experience high amounts of calories burned initially, over the long term saunas are simply treated as another tool to burn additional calories.
The sweating process itself takes a lot of energy. That energy comes from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a process that burns calories. Research shows that a moderately conditioned person can sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process. The body consumes calories by way of accelerated heart activity. As heart activity increases demanding oxygen, the body converts more calories into the energy.
Saunas are one of the oldest and most famous beauty and health treatments for the skin. When deep sweating occurs, the skin is cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced.
Sweat rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores improves the capillary circulation and gives the skin a soft, beautiful appearance. Dr. Ben H Douglas, a professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and author of “Ageless: Living Younger Longer” states “Sweating is a way of energizing the skin almost the way exercising a muscle energizes it.” He also explains, when you sweat, the rush of fluid to the skin “bathes skin cells with a liquid rich in nutrients,” which “fills the spaces around the cells” and even plumps up tiny wrinkles. He says the nutrients and minerals in sweat “are essential to maintaining the collagen structure of the skin.” Thus, bathing your skin in sweat on a regular basis staves off collagen breakdown that results in wrinkles and sags.
By continually flushing body waste through individual cells, one eventually brings back vitality, tone and a healthy glow to the skin.
Sauna bathing in not a cure for acne, but often helps due to the deep cleansing it provides from a deep sweat.
With today’s lifestyles, many of us don’t actively sweat on a daily bases. Deep Sweating has multiple health benefits. Regular sauna bathing provides the benefits derived from deep sweat:
In the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise. The blood vessels dilate, causing increased blood flow. As heat from the blood moves towards the skin surfaces and the core body temperature rises, the body’s nervous system sends signals to the millions of sweat glands covering the body. As the sweat glands are stimulated they produce sweat. Sweat production is primarily for cooling the body, and is composed of 99% water, but deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemicals, all toxins commonly picked up from our environment.
There is no shortage of books from Doctors and practitioners alike touting the benefits of detoxifying our bodies. As many doctors will attest and a big reason for the popularity of saunas in general, saunas are one of the best means to detoxify out bodies.
Relaxes muscles and soothes aches and pains in muscle and joints
Under high heat, the body releases endorphins, the body’s naturally produced pain relieving chemical. Endorphins can have a mild and enjoyable tranquilizing effect and the ability to suppress the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness from an intense physical workout.
Body temperature rises from the heat of the sauna, causing blood vessels to dilate and circulation to increase. The increased blood flow accelerates the body’s natural healing process, soothing aches and pains and speeding up of the healing of cuts and bruises.
Following sporting activity, use the heat and steam of a sauna for muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid and other toxins.
Medical studies clearly show stress in our daily lives affects our health. In fact, the vast majority of disease is stress related. The sauna provides stress relief in a number of ways:
It’s a warm, quiet space without any distractions. The heat of the sauna relaxes the body, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemical and provides a wonderful after sauna glow.
German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduced the incidence of colds and influenza. As the body is exposed to a sauna’s heat and steam, it produces white blood cells more rapidly which in turn help fight illness and helps kill viruses.
Saunas can relieve sinus congestion from colds and allergies, especially when used with steam. The steam vapor action helps clear up uncomfortable congestion and is a wonderful part of the Finnish sauna experience.
Induces a Deeper sleep
Research shows a deeper sleep can result from sauna use. In addition to the release of endorphins, when the body temperature raises in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep. Numerous sauna bathers around the world talk about the deep sleep they experience after sauna use.
Recreational and Social Benefits
While the social benefits is rarely spoken about, it should not be trivialized. The sauna can be a private personal retreat or a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends. The sauna environment is ideal for openness, quiet conversation and intimacy.
A sauna not only feels good, it’s good for you. Whether it’s the physiological changes that occur in the warmth of a sauna, or if it’s simply the time spent in the calm, still retreat of the sauna, all who sauna agree, it feels wonderful! As we go through our daily stressful lives, the sauna provides a pampering retreat, where we can relax and restore body and soul. A sauna truly makes you feel better, look better and sleep better.