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March 23, 2017

The Main 9 Sauna Benefits for Your Health

Most who know anything about saunas will agree that they just feel good. This is especially true after a rigorous workout or sport. Your body can actually reap many sauna benefits by just going two or three times a week. Keep in mind, that there are three main types of saunas. These are are far infrared saunas, near infrared saunas and modern saunas.

In modern saunas, a heat source, such as an electric or gas powered stove, heater or heating element, heats a room. It then gets it so hot that you start to sweat. Sometimes, stones are put over the heat source, and when water is poured over them, it creates steam, which gives you a gentler sauna.

sauna benefits

With near infra red saunas, a red light delivers heat directly to your body. Far infra red saunas use EMF lights. These heat your body up from the inside out making them beneficial in ways modern saunas, which heat your body from the outside in, aren’t. There is some concern that FIR saunas are not safe.

9 Sauna Benefits You May Have Not Known

1. Aids in Weight Loss

Being in a sauna speeds up your metabolism simply because of how hot you get. You could burn around 750 calories with one 30 minute sauna session. If you’re just starting out, you won’t be able to be in a 150 to 170-degree sauna – how hot it has to be for you to start losing weight – for that long. So, start with 10 or 15 minutes. And drink a lot of water before, during and after your sauna session to see the pounds go.

You could lose 5 pounds easily in one sitting. To lose weight this way though, you have to sauna regularly – at least twice a week. Plus, you should get in regular physical activity, eat healthy most of the time, and drink enough water.

2. Improves the Quality of Your Skin

Sweating renews the skin, and makes it soft. Bacteria in the sweat glands and epidermal layer of the skin are pushed to the surface. So the skin looks more youthful because it gets the blood flowing. Also, the natural antibiotics and sebum work to rejuvenate the skin.

Dead skin is also loosened. All that’s required for you to fully enjoy these sauna benefits is to shower afterwards.

3. Decreases the Appearance of Cellulite

Cellulite has been reduced through sauna usage. That infamous bubbled look of cellulite may be due to the toxins that get trapped in fat cells.

Regular visits to the sauna in combination with use of a body scrub and dry skin brushing should reduce the appearance of cellulite considerably. You could even do these treatments while in the sauna.

4. Strengthens the Immune System

Spending time in the sauna increases your white blood cell count. White blood cells help your body heal faster and fight off illnesses. So you don’t get sick as often. When you do, you recover quickly.

It notably fights cold and sinus congestion. Speed up recovery even more and enhance these sauna benefits simply. All you need to do is to add steam to your sauna and inhale the scent of eucalyptus.

5. Increases Endurance and Strengthens the Heart

Sauna sessions increase endurance so that a sport or exercise that normally raises your heart rate eventually would not. They also increase how much blood flows to the heart. So there is less cardiovascular strain.

In fact, FIR sauna benefits for those at risk of coronary heart disease have been proven. Furthermore, FIR saunas are also proven beneficial to people suffering from congestive heart failure.

6. Improves Hair Quality

Saunas can make you sweat from every pore in your body. It’s not just water that your body excretes but also oils and sodium. On your scalp, sebum is released from the sebaceous gland. This improves the quality of some hair types.

If you have dry hair, follow up your sauna session with an acid balanced shampoo and conditioner. Then, rinse with cold water to moisturize your hair. Those whose locks don’t benefit from the sauna can wrap their hair in a towel to protect it while the rest of their body reaps the benefits.

7. Gets Rid of Toxins

When the sauna causes you to sweat, it comes through your pores simultaneously. This way it is cleansing them of anything that’s clogging them. The sweat itself comes straight from our bodies. Even though it’s 99% water and salt, 1% is toxins.

Toxins like urea and heavy metals, including mercury and lead, are absorbed into our bodies through the food that we eat. It is also caused by pollution in the environment. Yes, toxins are also in products that we use on our body and in our everyday life.

8. Relieves Pain

The sauna’s ability to relieve pain is probably one of the most noted sauna benefits. Spending time in the sauna relaxes your muscles by relieving them of any aches and pains. You might actually get a little spoiled by this one and a little addicted.

Go sit in the sauna right after an intense workout, run or sport. Then you will see just how well it works to quickly soothe your muscles and ease pain. It helps you recover after strenuous activities. This way, you’re ready to go at it again rather quickly. This is because it increases blood flow throughout your muscles that you’ve been working so hard. So sauna is both healing and relaxing.¬†It also helps your body to heal faster from wounds and other injuries.

9. Helps You Sleep

You have to be careful here, especially if you’re in your own private sauna. They are truly relaxing thanks to their warmth. You will probably fall to sleep right then and there if you’re not talking to anyone. However, it’s not just during the sauna that you will want to sleep. People who sauna regularly, enjoy better sleep in general.

woman sleeping
Tip: Try to schedule one of the sauna sessions so that you can get a good sleep afterwards.

Wrapping Up the Session

If you already love the sauna for no particular reason, then you don’t need an excuse to frequent it. However, you may want to start enjoying the sauna benefits mentioned above. Then now may be a good time to start going to the sauna regularly. Just remember to drink plenty of water. If you have a medical condition or you’re pregnant, ask your doctor if it’s OK to use the sauna.

Have you noticed any of these sauna benefits? What is your favorite reason to go to the sauna?

Images from pixabay.com.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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