9 Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas from 9 Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas

9 Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas

Full Story

Shutterstock

9 Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas

Unwind, release tension, and improve your overall health and wellbeing by simply relaxing in a sauna. Today, saunas have become more accessible; you can find them in hotels, gyms and spas throughout the country.

*Related: 9 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body

Enjoying time in a sauna is mostly seen as an indulgence or a luxury. Saunas are typically used for relaxation, relieving stress, and losing weight. However, there are many more health benefits – both mental and physical – to take advantage of from regular sauna usage. Saunas are no longer just a spa indulgence, but an investment in your health.

Expert health and fitness writer Nina Wells, from Steam Shower Store, shares with us the health benefits of saunas.

Shutterstock

Lowering Blood Pressure

Saunas are widely used for stress relief. The warmth promotes relaxation and allows you to unwind and calm your mind. Stress is a major cause of high blood pressure. Regularly visiting a sauna has proven to be great for your heart. It lowers blood pressure for those with hypertension. High blood pressure can cause stroke and heart failure.

Shutterstock

Better Blood Circulation

The heat in a sauna increases blood flow by expanding the blood vessels. The blood vessels become more flexible, increasing blood circulation throughout your whole body. A good blood flow is very important for the health of your heart. Blood circulation carries oxygen to your muscles and arteries. Good blood circulation also promotes better brain functions.

Shutterstock

Strengthens Immune System

While in a sauna your body produces antibodies and white blood cells that fight disease. The heat causes your skin to reach up to 104° F and your internal temperature rises to about 100° F. This rise in temperature creates a faux fever state, which causes your body to release the antibodies and white blood cells.

Shutterstock

Improves Sleep

A sauna session can increase your heart rate by 50-75%. This is the same increase in heart rate you experience from a physical workout. 20 minutes in the sauna is equivalent to about a 2-hour walk. Sleep quality and quantity are improved by exertion. Time in a sauna mocks that exertion and improves your sleep.

Shutterstock

Detoxification

We all know that time spent in a sauna will cause you to sweat. But the excessive sweating caused by sauna use enables your skin’s pores to open up and expel the various pollutants and chemicals your skin is exposed to every day. Cancer-causing toxins and heavy metals are also expelled from your body by using a sauna. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and 30 percent of your body’s waste is removed through the skin.

Shutterstock

Increases Endurance

Making regular use of a sauna can boost your body’s heat tolerance. An increase in your tolerance for heat is an increase in your endurance. Athletes often make use of saunas to decrease fatigue and increase endurance during physical activity.

Shutterstock

Makes You Look Younger

The detoxification from saunas flushes the skin of impurities. Dead skin and bacteria are rinsed out through sweat causing your skin to give off a healthy glow. The increased blood flow promotes the growth of new skin. Saunas also prevent wrinkles and sagging of the skin by stopping the breakdown of skin collagen.

Shutterstock

Improves Hair Health

Sweating induced by saunas activates the sebaceous gland on the scalp. This gland, when activated, releases a substance that moisturizes and conditions your hair making it appear smooth and shiny. Taking advantage of the compounds released by this gland decreases the need for chemical filled hair products, thus decreasing the number of chemicals absorbed by your body.

Shutterstock

Muscle Recovery

The increased blood flow caused by saunas make them a great way to recover from workouts or sore muscles. The blood flows to stressed muscles allowing them to relax and heal. A lot of gyms have added saunas to their amenities for this reason.

9 Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas