The health benefits of going to the sauna include improved blood circulation, sweating, an immune system boost, toned up muscles, relief from sleeping disorders, mental agility, and much more. Saunas provide a relaxing environment that helps you to relax and unwind.
During a sauna session, most people’s heartbeats increase by over 50-75%, which is the same increase that is caused by a physical workout. The heat created by the sauna expands the blood vessels and results in increased blood flow, thereby ensuring complete detoxification of the body.
The health benefits of sitting in a sauna go far beyond the leisure and beauty offered by participating in this activity. It has a substantial impact on the health and the general well-being of any individual. It can help you reduce your daily stress and to experience ultimate relaxation and contentment.
Research studies have proven that there is a wide array of health benefits associated with saunas. Here are 8 sauna benefits that most people don’t know about:
1. Extreme Stress Reduction
Saunas are huge stress fighters. Thanks to sugar, coffee, lack of sleep, stressed adrenals, and toxic chemical exposure, many of us are stuck in the sympathetic or “fight or flight” state. Saunas encourage our bodies to go into the parasympathetic state, which allows us to de-stress, digest, rest, and heal.
2. Balance Hormones
Stress reduction helps to lower stress hormones (cortisol). When cortisol is kept in balance, thyroid, insulin, DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen are also kept in balance. In fact, progesterone levels can increase if we keep our cortisol in a healthy range. Saunas help the adrenals secrete aldosterone, which helps keep electrolytes in balance too.
3. Improve Blood Circulation
Hot saunas make the blood vessels more flexible, thereby increasing the flow of blood, even in the extremities. It ensures complete detoxification and oxygenation of body tissues, as well as the optimum distribution of nutrients to all parts of the body, including the skin. Thus, it results in a glowing, youthful appearance. It is a time-tested cure for various respiratory ailments, including chest congestion and bronchitis, thus helping in the natural draining of the sinuses.
Sweating is the natural mechanism of body cleansing, and saunas help in flushing out waste products through sweating. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and over 30% of the total body wastes are expelled through it. Excess sweating results in the opening up of the skin’s pores and the complete removal of impurities from the body. Our skin is constantly exposed to various chemicals and pollutants, which can make it rough and lack luster. Profuse sweating is very helpful in removing these toxins to bring back the healthy, beautiful glow of the skin.
5. Increase Muscle Mass
Sauna therapy causes net muscle growth. During a sauna use, your body releases massive amounts of heat shock proteins (HSPs). These HSPs help prevent oxidative stress (a cause of muscle breakdown) by scavenging free radicals and maintaining healthy glutathione levels.
The HSPs released during exposure to heat has also been shown to repair damaged proteins that, otherwise, would likely be destroyed by the body. Sauna use increases IGF-1, a hormone that promotes muscle growth. The increased insulin sensitivity from sauna use can also lead to increased muscle mass.
6. Saunas Help Relieve Pain
Sauna use relieves pain by increasing the release of anti-inflammatory hormones like noradrenaline, adrenaline, cortisol, and IGF-1. In one study, it was found out that sauna is useful in managing rheumatoid arthritis. Saunas can cause the release of endorphins, opioid-like chemicals which act as natural pain-killers.
Sauna therapy was found to be effective in lessening the pain experienced by someone with fibromyalgia. Many of the benefits are immediate and probably due to tissues made of collagen, like tendons and fascia, become more flexible when exposed to increased temperatures. However, many of the benefits persisted months after the treatment. Regular sauna use is also an effective tool for managing chronic headaches (probably vasoconstrictive types).
7. Aid In Losing Weight
Saunas can help with weight loss. Saunas can increase heart rate while lowering blood pressure and increasing oxygenation and metabolic rate. These physiological effects are incredibly similar to cardio exercise.
8. Health and Mental Agility
Saunas ensure enhanced mental precision and a marked decrease in allergic conditions. Research studies have shown that liver and immune functions recorded significant improvement after sauna therapy. Saunas also expel heavy metals and cancer-causing toxins completely, thereby preventing traumatic disease conditions and congenital disabilities.
Throughout history, humans have used sauna therapy as a safe and powerful means of detoxification. In this post, I shared with you 8 sauna benefits that most people don’t know about.
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