Saunas have often been found as a source of relaxation and rejuvenation but did you know there are great health benefits attached to this ancient practice? A sauna bath is not a new concept. It’s been there for ages. Its origins are found as long as 3000 years old. It’s said to be a common practice for the people of Mayan, Scandinavia, and Finland during ancient times.
What is Sauna Bath
Sweating is always considered to be good for one’s overall health. Sauna bathing is a technique that uses dry heat at a high temperature of around 70° to 100° Celsius which makes a person sweat. The humidity is mainly relative at around 10% to 20%.
At such a high temperature, the skin temperature also rises, mainly at around 40° Celsius or 104° Fahrenheit which causes the body to sweat.
Forms of Sauna
There are various types of saunas available today for one to choose from. Though the end goal of all sauna methods is the same, the methods are completely different. The far-infrared sauna uses special lamps and only a person’s body is heated rather than the whole room. There’s also a wood-burning sauna that uses woods to heat the room and sauna rocks.
Other forms are electrically heated sauna that uses an electrical heater and steam room that includes involves high humidity and moist heat rather than dry heat.
Benefits of Sauna
Sauna bathing is a form of revival for many people. It loses up your muscles and basks you in the glory of relaxation. But there are plenty of other benefits attached to a sauna bath.
Here are a few of them by The Health Fortune
1. Boosts Heart Health
The heartbeats increase as one is exposed to a sauna bath. The heartbeat goes up to 110-120 bpm as suggested by medical research. After the cooling-off stage, the heartbeat sinks to below normal. While these changes occur in the increased levels, the blood vessels near the skin dilate, and “cardiac output/circulation” increases.
This activity of the heart while in the sauna reduces the risk of all-cause mortality and fatal cardiac incidents.
2. Toxin Out
Chemicals like lead, copper, zinc, nickel, and mercury, along with other harmful chemicals get out of the body while the sweating process in the sauna.
3. Stress Buster
While one enjoys his/ her sauna time, it also acts as a stress reliever simultaneously. There is a hormone called cortisol present in our blood that’s released when one is stressed. The sauna bathing leads to a reduction of cortisol in the blood. Please note that excess of this hormone can lead to problems with the immune system and with sleeping.
Sauna is also associated with the release of our happy hormones which are called serotonin which instantly lifts up our mood.
4. Great for a Good Skin
The sweating during the high-temperature sauna session results in the unclogging of our skin pores. The dead skin cells are shed off and the sauna acts as a natural cleanser of skin. The sauna as a form of beauty tool is used for ages and rightly so, as it leaves our epidermis looking radiant and baby-like.
5. Fights Illness Naturally
A sauna bath is an excellent form of fighting health problems like congested colds and influenza. It produces white blood cells in our body rapidly that are responsible for killing bad bacteria.
6. Brain Health Development
It is medically tested through conducted studies that sweating can help in good brain development. In fact, if the sauna is practiced regularly, it’s effective in reducing signs of Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
7. Relief After Exercise
Exercise sessions can bring pain and soreness to the muscles. It’s common practice to use a sauna bath after a workout as the blood vessels relax and dilate which leads to an increase in blood flow. This helps in increasing the body’s natural healing process and thus relieves pain in joints and muscles.
Sauna eliminates lactic acid and other toxins present in the body. In fact, it is also a source of relief for people dealing with chronic pain and arthritis.
While a rejuvenating session in a sauna is great for many reasons but it’s not safe and right for all. There are certain people who should steer clear of it. It’s recommended to seek a doctor’s advice if one has any kind of medical history or has cardiovascular disease.
Health conditions to consider before opting for a regular sauna bath –
- Cardiovascular disease or recent heart attack patients
- Low blood pressure patients
- Kidney disease patients – Not advised because of chances of dehydration
Other factors to be considered
- Avoid a sauna bath if one is ill and isn’t feeling fully recovered. The bath can take a toll on the body and therefore, please consult your doctor first.
- It isn’t advised to jump into a cool swimming pool straight out of the heated sauna bath. This might raise blood pressure.
- Drink lots of water before and after a sauna session. Lack of water in the body sometimes causes nausea and dizziness, so be aware.
- It is dangerous to get into a sauna bath after consuming alcohol or while in the bath. It increases the risk of dehydration, hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden death.
- Always indulge in sauna baths for a small period of time ranging from 5 minutes to 20 minutes.