Health benefits of saunas
A sauna is a type of sweating room, each of which is peculiar for a particular purpose. Steam itself is considered the oldest and most effective way of tempering and purifying the body; it can improve mood and well-being. Throughout history, each country or region has had its own traditions for steam bathing. There are Turkish baths, Finnish hot saunas, Russian baths with brooms for massage, etc. The sauna has a range of benefits for health it is valued for. Let’s try to understand specific sauna benefits.
Sauna for well-being
Steam exposes the body to high temperatures, which is especially beneficial for improving water-salt metabolism of the body. Benefits include that the skin is cleansed of dirt, fat and sweat, the excretory function is intensified, toxins are eliminated from the body, and the number of red blood cells increases. Steam also has a positive effect on the central nervous system. According to a few new studies, the results of which were published in The New York Times in 2016, sauna therapy helps to reduce the risk for certain forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. Among men age 42 to 60 who sat in a sauna no less than four times a week, the risk for dementia was found to be a whopping 65% lower! In order to sit in a sauna regularly, it is convenient to have a home sauna. In that case, it is possible to make use of sauna benefits without needing to leave the house. If there is not much space in your house, an infrared sauna can be another option. One other option is to join a gym that has a sauna.
The benefits of a sauna are many, a sauna session can help to restore physical strength, relieve nervous and emotional tension, and reduce excess weight. In terms of weight loss, some physicians recommend sauna for weight loss as a part of a complex diet and exercise therapy. To achieve the maximum therapeutic effect, the temperature in traditional steaming sauna should be 160-200 °F, while 157°F is an average temperature for an infrared sauna, which works by heating the body instead of the air around the body. Before entering a hot sauna, it is recommended that you cover your head with a hat or towel, and to clean your body and wipe it thoroughly so that the skin is dry.
People suffering from cardiovascular diseases may want to consider using a dry sauna. The same concerns patients with various inflammatory diseases, kidney disorders, diseases of the genitourinary system, and liver diseases. However, if you have any health conditions, you should consult your doctor before you decide on any sauna therapy regardless of sauna type (dry sauna, infrared sauna, wet sauna, etc.) According to your health condition, the doctor will decide on the time and frequency spent inside a steam room.
Since sitting in a sauna exposes you to a very high temperature, it has some contraindications and can be harmful to a certain category of people. For instance, sauna (including dry sauna) should not be visited by children under the age of three. Even for older children, the temperature should be significantly lower than for adults.
People with the following diseases should not visit a hot sauna: tuberculosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney stone disease, atherosclerosis, severe nervous disorders, chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Even if they undergo slimming therapy, they should not use the sauna for weight loss. In addition, ignoring the prescribed rules can make health benefits of sauna go down the drain. You should not stay in it for too long, go to a steam room too often, consume any alcohol drinks and high-calorie food immediately before sitting, and always remember to bring water with you to stay hydrated during the whole steaming process.
Taking into account the numerous health benefits of sauna and how to enjoy sauna therapy in the right way, you can determine if sauna therapy is right for you. Enjoy the heat and be healthy!