Spending time in a sauna can help with the relaxation of joints and muscles. It also improves cardiovascular health and is a great hot spot for meditation.
The health benefits of sauna bathing have been enjoyed over many eons by people all over the world.
Archeologists say the Mayans used their sweat houses as a place of therapy and ritual some three thousand years ago. Today the sauna room is still being used in this way.
It is enjoyed as part of following a healthy lifestyle across the globe for various reasons. Regular sauna bathing adds longetivity in numerous ways.
Here are all your questions answered regarding sauna health benefits. RECOMMENDED: How to use Sauna
Different Types of Saunas And Their Benefits
To understand fully the health benefits of sauna bathing, we must examine the different types of saunas that exist in the world today, and understand how they function.
Each type of sauna room is built in a certain way to promote unique health benefits. While some are more traditional, other types have been modernised by the use of technology.
The health benefits of each sauna session remains the underlying reason why people prefer different types of saunas for repeated sauna therapy.
Wood Burning Sauna Room
This is most commonly used in gyms, outdoor pool areas and is also the best choice as a home outdoor sauna. You will also find around 2 million wood-burning sauna rooms in Finland. The wood walls in a sauna room are typical of traditional Finnish saunas.
The wood walls give warmth and have an inviting rustic appeal. However, the benefits are far-reaching too. Wood is strong and heat resistant. This means that regular sauna bathing will be a comfortable encounter as the heat will not burn your skin.
Also, the heat emitted from a wood sauna will not easily damage its walls as opposed to walls made by plaster of alternative material. Tiled saunas do get uncomfortable after some time depending on the intensity of the heat as the tiles become unbearably hot to sit on.
Wood is durable and resilient keeping your sauna available for many years if well maintained. Softwood used to build a sauna room allows for a cooler experience on touch.
Burning wood or heated sauna rocks on a stove are usually used in wood sauna rooms and traditional Finnish saunas. This type of sauna is often dry and humid. The temperature ranges between 70 to 100 Celsius degrees.
A Finnish sauna is famous for using a stove with a chimney, or a stove with no chimney to burn sauna rocks or wood. Some sauna groups in Finland enjoy rolling in the snow or jumping into a cool lake after using a sauna.
The benefit of subjecting your body to intense cold after experiencing dry heat in a sauna room is to improve blood circulation and speed up the recovery of an injured muscle. The cold experience after using a sauna reduces the soreness of muscles and joints.
Infrared Sauna Room
The infrared sauna appears red inside. That’s because the saunas are heated using special red lamps. These lamps direct lightwaves to heat your body. When compared to the traditional wood-burning sauna the difference is that the infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you.
Instead, they use infrared lamps to warm your body and not the air. Your body will heat up by the panels under which are the infrared lamps. The temperature is slightly lower than in other saunas and usually ranges between 40 to 60 Celcius.
Supporters of infrared saunas say that sauna bathing can be longer because the heat is more tolerable. Another benefit is that the heat penetrates more deeply into the body. In this way, you can enjoy intense sweat at a lower temperature with the whole body heating up completely.
Electric Heated Sauna Room
This type of sauna excludes burning wood or coal-fired up saunas. Instead, you will still enjoy low humidity heated by an electrical heater that is attached to the floor. This is a clean and easy-to-maintain option. Mainly this is the difference between traditional, infrared, and electric saunas.
An electric sauna can reach a maximum temperature of 90 Celsius. Many models can reach that temperature in less than ten minutes. Wood saunas are still used but are powered up with heat by electric heaters.
The benefit of using this sauna type lies in some more convenient features. Health benefits are pretty much the same as you will enjoy when the sauna bathing in wood-burning or an infrared sauna.
However, unlike the infrared sauna don’t expect a whole-body heating experience without the air heating first.
Some electric heaters do allow pre-programming, so you can have your sauna ready when you want it. This also means that electric heaters are quick and convenient to use. This is great for regular sauna baths.
Some safety features are appealing when using this type of sauna use. Consider it an added benefit that your electric sauna won’t run for more than an hour at a time.
The Steam Room
Using either a dry heat sauna or a steam room is great for the sympathetic nervous system. When you feel relaxed your state of stress reduces substantially. However, using a steam room to improve blood flow is slightly different than when sauna bathing with dry heat.
The significant difference between a dry heat sauna and a steam room is that steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. The skin temperature rises when more steam is given off and increased blood circulation takes place quickly.
The steam room also ensures that your skin is well hydrated. This is one of the great health benefits of using a steam room, especially if you suffer from dry skin. You can enjoy a great skin hydrating session by sweating heavily from the steam.
Steam also works better than a dry heat sauna when it comes to the potential health benefits of detoxification. It is also a great choice for people suffering from respiratory issues. It is recommended to use a steam room at least 2 to 3 times a week for no longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
Saunas Health Benefits
When you use a sauna your heart rate increases and your blood vessels widen. This also takes place when you are exercising. This means that you stand to gain some great health benefits with repeated sauna therapy.
Health professionals are quick to point out the sauna benefits when following a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the main health benefits to enjoy, listed below.
Improved Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Using a sauna is relaxing, healing, and comforting for many, whether you frequent it after a workout at the gym, swimming, or a cool shower. Because it reduces stress in your body, the sauna naturally improves your cardiovascular health.
According to medical research, those who use the sauna at least two to three times a week are less likely to experience a sudden cardiac arrest or suffer from chronic body pains.
Reduction in Vascular Diseases
There is also medical evidence to show that the benefits of sauna extend to the reduction of cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and neurocognitive diseases. It has also emerged that other health benefits include improving rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and even flu.
You can also enjoy improved blood circulation and detoxification as the sweat purges toxins and dead skin cells from your body. The intense sweating can clear out about one-third of the toxic material that was removed by your kidneys from your bloodstream and help with detoxification.
Reduced Risk of Joint Pain
Repeated sauna therapy of between 15 to 30 minutes is relaxing and you will notice a difference in your muscles and joints. Because the heat increases blood circulation to inflamed joints and removes toxins from our bodies, our muscles feel more at ease after sauna sessions.
After a workout at the gym is probably the best time in the week to make sure you get some regular sauna health benefits. Make sure you are well hydrated after your workout or grab a water bottle filled with cool water to take with you into the sauna.
Releasing of Endorphins
Le’s be honest the best part of a great sweat when you’re working out is the happy elated feeling you experience when endorphins are released.
Spending just 15 to 30 minutes in a sauna is equivalent to a moderate workout and releases the same amount of endorphins. These happy hormones are a great way to reduce physical discomfort in your muscles and joints. It helps to greatly reduce stress and induces a feel-good sensation in its place.
Promotes Weight Loss
Losing weight is not the primary function or benefit of a sauna because you ought to take a more holistic approach if you desire to lose weight. Weight loss is therefore not guaranteed by using the sauna solely for this purpose.
However, studies do show that there may be some correlation between weight loss and regular sauna usage as long as you are also following a proper weight loss diet. Using the sauna as part of a weight-loss ritual is beneficial.
Recreational and Social Benefits of Sauna
Being a regular sauna bather might just turn out to be a great recreational choice to make. While sauna therapy can be a quiet, meditative, private retreat, some bathers enjoy the social benefits of sauna use with a group of people.
The bottom line is that regular sauna bathing should not rule out the benefit of making new friends as a sauna can be a conducive place to engage in intimate conversations too.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Sauna
- Shower before using the sauna to keep it clean, and after to remove sweat and toxins
- Bring a towel
- Don’t let the heat escape
- Stay hydrated (Drink at least 2 – 4 glasses of water after using the sauna)
- Increase or decrease the heat if you are uncomfortable
- Don’t stay in the sauna for longer than 30 minutes at a time
Think of your daily or weekly sauna sessions as wellness splurges or retreats. It is about taking time out for yourself and your body just no more than 30 minutes each day to enjoy some sterling benefits.
Whatever type of sauna you prefer because of the associated benefits, at the very least it feels great to spend time resting our bodies in a well-heated room.
Every regular sauna bather will tell you that regular sauna therapy is a great place to restore body, mind, and soul. It might be just what you need to for a good night’s rest.