How Using a Sauna Benefits Your Health
When most people think of using a sauna, they think of relaxing and letting their troubles just melt away. In fact, there is quite a bit more to using a sauna than that. Believe it or not, saunas have been used for over thousands of years and are still extremely popular today. As a matter of fact, the Mayans used sweat houses over three thousand years ago, if that tells you how beneficial they are to your health. Just the fact that something like this has been around for so many thousands of years is enough to recommend it in our opinion. Even in the United States, at last count, there were over one thousand saunas for people to visit and many, many people take advantage of these saunas on a daily basis.
However, with the health benefits of using a sauna come disadvantages, dangers, and even myths that need to be dispelled. In this blog, we will go into all of that and might even throw in a few facts that you might not have known about saunas as well. With that being said, grab yourself a cold drink and let’s delve into our blog on how using a sauna on a regular basis can actually benefit your health.
A Few Facts to Know About Saunas
First, let’s start off with a few facts you might not have known about saunas, but would be interested in learning. They are listed below.
- Saunas are actually rooms where people go to relax in dry heat
- Drinking alcohol during or even before you step into a sauna can be dangerous to your health
- If you are pregnant or have heart problems it is important to talk to your primary care provider before visiting a sauna
What Exactly is a Sauna?
It’s hard to praise the health benefits of using a sauna if the people you are selling the idea to don’t know what a sauna is, so we will define what a sauna is the first thing to get that out of the way.
Typically, a sauna is a room that has a temperature ranging between 158 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 70 to 100 degrees Celsius. There are different types of saunas out there, from Turkish saunas to traditional Finnish saunas.
The sauna is used for a few different things, from relaxing to flushing toxins out of the body through sweating.
Types of Saunas
Based on how a room is heated, there are several different types of saunas to choose from. We will describe a few of them below.
Wood burning saunas use wood and sauna rocks to heat the room. These are usually high in temperature, but low in humidity.
Infrared saunas use special lamps to heat up the person’s body, instead of heating the entire room. The temperatures are usually lower in infrared rooms, but the desired sweating is still accomplished.
Electrically heated saunas use electric heaters that are attached to the floor to heat the rooms and have high temperatures but low humidity.
Steam rooms are different from the saunas on our list. Instead of using dry heat, they use moist heat, which results in high humidity.
No matter which of these types of saunas you choose to go to, know that they all have their share of health benefits and risks.
Now, that we know what a sauna is and the types that you can choose from, it’s time to move into the reasons you should use one and the health benefits it brings. So without further ado, let’s find out the benefits of stepping into a box and sweating for relaxation purposes.
Health Benefits of Using a Sauna Revealed
Regardless of how a sauna is heated, what temperature it’s heated to or the humidity levels, there are quite a few health benefits associated with using one. We will into a few of those health benefits in this section of our blog.
Helps to Ease Pain
During high heat, your body releases endorphins, which is the bodies natural pain relieving chemical. Since these have a mild and also enjoyable tranquilizing effect, it helps to relieve the pain of sore backs, arthritis, and other conditions as well.
Helps the Body to Relax
A sauna isn’t just good for easing those aches and pains, it’s also good for helping you to relax. After you have had a super busy day, there’s nothing like sitting in a sauna to help your body feel refreshed and ready to go again.
Flushes Out Toxins
Saunas and steam rooms work great to flush out the toxins in your system. Research has shown that sweating in a sauna is the best way to flush the toxins out of your body that you have built up. In today’s modern world, we all eat and do things that aren’t all that great for our bodies, this is the perfect way to flush the poison out.
Stress relief is one of the most common reasons that people use saunas. In a world, where everything is to hurry up and go, stress has become a part of everyday life. Sitting in a sauna for a while after a super stressful day at work can be just what the doctor ordered.
Regular sessions in a sauna are said to bring on a deeper more restful sleep. Many sauna users around the world will tell you that they get a better night’s sleep after being in the sauna.
They Cleanse Your Skin
Saunas are said to be one of the best and even the oldest treatments out there for the skin. Since you sweat heavily in a sauna, it stands to reason that you are sloughing off all of those old skin cells and keeping your skin glowing and healthy. However, it is important to note that sitting in a sauna is not a cure for acne, you still need to use other treatments. It is, however, a great way to deep clean the pores of people who do have acne.
Helps with Asthma
The heat of the sauna has been known to provide relief for asthma sufferers as well. The heat is known to open airways, loosen the phlegm associated with asthma and to help reduce the stress of having an attack.
Saunas have Recreational and Social Benefits as Well
Believe it or not, saunas can have recreational and social benefits as well, as the many health benefits they bring. It cannot only be a private retreat for you but a place to gather and socialize with family and friends as well.
Other Benefits of Using a Sauna
- Improves heart health
- Helps to burn calories
- Helps fight illness
- Feels great
- Boosts immunity
- May actually help you to live longer
These are just a few of the top health benefits of using a sauna that you should know about. Of course, there are disadvantages and risks of using a sauna as well. We will cover these in the next section of our blog.
Risks Associated with Using a Sauna
While sauna therapy has been used for therapy for hundreds of years, but even a good thing can have its own set of dangers. We will go into the dangers of using a sauna below.
The Possibility of Burns
There is always the risk of burns when you are using any type of sauna. That is why it’s so important to ensure that you take every safety precaution and listen to the instructions given to you by the facility you go to.
Dehydration is also a very real concern when it comes to using a sauna. Since you are sweating so heavily, it is easy to end up dehydrated before you even know it. It’s important to stay hydrated well before and after a trip to the sauna. People with certain conditions should avoid the sauna, and speak to their doctor before they decide to use one.
Blood Pressure Risks
High and low blood pressure can become a risk when you are using a sauna as well. As with the other risks, it is better to talk to your primary health care provider before using a sauna.
Safety Precautions to Follow
Luckily, there are a few safety precautions you can be sure to follow when getting in the sauna. We will talk about these below.
One of the best ways to avoid the risks of dehydrating in a sauna is by avoiding alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of dehydration. It is best to avoid drinking for at least 24 hours before you plan to be in the sauna.
Limit the Time You Spend in the Sauna
It’s best to limit the time you spend in a sauna to no longer than 20 minutes. If you are a first-time user, however, it’s best to only spend five to 10 minutes in the sauna. As your body gets used to the heat, you can gradually increase the time spent to 20 minutes, but not over 20 at a time.
Always Drink Plenty of Water
It is recommended that you drink at least three to four glasses of water after being in a sauna. No matter which type of sauna you use, it’s important to replace the liquids that you have lost from sweating.
Don’t Use the Sauna if You Are Sick
Anyone who is sick should always wait to use the sauna after they are completely recovered. If you are pregnant, it is important to consult your primary health care provider first to see if getting in the sauna is the right choice for you and your unborn child.
If in Doubt, Consult Your Doctor
If there is any doubt that you will be at risk when using a sauna, it is better to make an appointment with your doctor to see if you are physically fit enough to use one. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to someone’s health.
These are a few of the top health risks out there when it comes to using a sauna and the ways to prevent from getting sick when you do. Follow these safety precautions each and every time, so that you will be fine.
Myths Concerning Sauna Use Revealed
Of course, there are always going to be myths surrounding saunas that need to be dispelled. Read on below as we dispel a few of them.
Myth: Sauna Use is Only for Cold Climates
While using a sauna in a cold climate will certainly help to keep you warm, they can be used in warm climates as well. People in all parts of the country, whether they are in cold, warm, humid or dry conditions are taking advantages of using saunas now, on a daily basis.
Myth: There Are no Health Benefits that have been Proven
Not true, from detoxification to fewer colds and healthier hearts, it has been proven time and time again that saunas do indeed provide health benefits to those who choose to use them.
Myth: You Can’t have a Sauna in Your House
Again, not true. Many people have saunas in their homes and enjoy having them there. Saunas today are designed to become a part of your home, not just the fishing shack on the outside that everyone thinks is ugly and barely uses.
These are just a couple of the myths out there about saunas that need to be dispelled so that people will realize the benefits of them and use them more often.
This concludes our blog on how using a sauna can benefit your health. Do your research and you will find yourself relaxing in a sauna in no time at all.
- Medical News Today: Sauna: Health Benefits, Risks, and Precautions
- Great Bay Spa and Sauna: Top 10 Health Benefits of Saunas
- Black Pine: Top 4 Myths About Saunas