Why should I sauna?
Saunas often times can feel like a strange experience to take part in for those who have not experienced them before. This is not a surprise. Saunas are many times full of strangers half-clothed or not clothed at all, sitting in a small room and dripping in sweat. This may not seem like the most enjoyable experience to a newcomer, but that is just a stereotype. Why should you take the first step into a sauna? To experience the full range of health benefits that come with spending time in these great environments and incorporating this into your healthy lifestyle. This is why so many people enjoy and consistently use saunas – they offer many benefits from detoxifying your body to refreshing your skin! Here are a few of the benefits that come with spending time in a sauna and why you should take your first step in:
Your skin will thank you!
There’s a reason why saunas are often times referred to as a sweat bath. With temperatures recommended between 176 – 194 degrees fahrenheit, these environments are designed to make you sweat and the benefits that come from these sweat sessions are no joke! Through the process of sweating your pores open up which helps to release any bacteria or build up inside of them. This can be very beneficial for those who have acne or want to help prevent it. Sweating purges the body of toxins that can clog pores and plague your skin with blemishes or acne. Sweating can help cleanse your skin by removing old, dead skin cells to make room for new skin development. This process can give you a healthy glow of new and softened skin after sauna use. Keep in mind that these benefits that come from sweating are most beneficial when your body sweats at mild or moderate levels. If sweating is constant and excessive, the benefits could be reversed.
Pain relief through natural healing
One of the best times to utilize a sauna is after an intense workout. Spending time in a sauna after these workouts can help your body relax which loosens up your muscles and can help prevent soreness. Your blood vessels dilate due to an increased body temperature naturally improving blood flow to those muscles that have been exhausted and strained. This improves your body’s natural healing process and will improve the way you feel in subsequent days.
Sauna sessions can also help to reduce oxidative stress. Any exercise activity produces oxidative stress within the body. At low levels, oxidative stress is probably good for our bodies. But at higher levels, this can contribute to many negative effects including premature aging, cancer, dementia, and a few other conditions. For more on oxidative stress and saunas ability to reduce this, check out wellness coach Fawne Hansen’s article: One Great Reason to Use The Sauna after Your Workout.
Body and Mind
Sauna use has been linked to quite a few benefits in terms of changes within your body and mind, two of them being the release of endorphins and cardiovascular improvement. At high temperatures like those felt within a sauna your brain released feel-good endorphins. This release of endorphins helps us as sauna users to feel better, happier, and de-stress during our time in the sauna and leads to a better mood after as well.
In terms of cardiovascular improvement, increased heat helps to expand the blood vessels that are located near the skin’s surface causing cardiac output to rise. Research has recorded that heart rates can rise from around 60-70 BPM up to 110-120 BPM or even higher. After use heart rates can sometimes drop below normal rates as well. These changes in heart rates outside the normal range help to train and exercise our heart muscles and help improve the body’s regulatory system.
As always, if you have any concerns make sure to consult with a doctor or physician before spending time in a sauna. Sauna usage can cause drastic fluid loss within the body so make sure to drink plenty of water before and after. If you are using a sauna for the first time, try spending 5-10 minutes in the sauna and gauge how you are feeling. You can always increase your time within the sauna on your next visits. Now don’t waste any time! Grab a towel and head into that sauna, you won’t regret it.