The Many Benefits of Sauna Use

While not exactly a new thing, using the sauna has been shown somewhat recently to have tremendous health benefits. More and more quality research is coming out demonstrating that regular sauna use is so beneficial for people in so many ways.

 

Then and Now

Sauna is a Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and/or bathhouse itself. A sauna as thought of today, is originated in Finland. A modern sauna is usually a simple, wooden room, with varying heat sources in the center. The most common heat source is an electric heater, filled with rocks. The way a sauna achieves such high temperatures without harming people is by controlling the humidity and air flow.The lower humidity in saunas compared to steam rooms is what allows for higher temperatures.

 

Benefits

There are many benefits of regular sauna use. Let’s dive right in.

Circulation

  • Heat causes increased blood flow
  • Oxygenation of cells, organs, and tissue
  • Mitochondrial boost
  • Metabolic waste flushing
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate

 

Performance

  • Elevated heart rate: As mentioned above a sauna session will elevate heart rate to a level similar to medium intensity exercise
  • Increased levels of IGF-1: Some studies have shown increases by as much as 200%-330%! IGF-1 is a hormone that causes anabolism (muscle growth), and recovery from exercise. Both leading to increased muscle growth
  • Increased insulin sensitivity: Great for overall health and muscle growth
  • Increase in heat shock proteins(HSP): Also aids in muscle growth by preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown) and increasing MPS (muscle protein synthesis)
  • Reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)

 

Overall health/longevity

  • 48% lower risk of heart disease
  • Increased insulin sensitivity: Insulin resistance/poor insulin sensitivity is a common factor in many metabolic disorders
  • Increase in FOXO3: Gene associated with longevity and protects against DNA damage
  • Heart rate increase: Regular elevation of heart rate increases heart health
  • Heat Shock Proteins: HSP activate FOXO3 which help to prevent heart, brain, and metabolic disorders. HSP also increase lifespan and are associated with centenarians
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Increases in attention and memory
  • Myelin growth: Myelin is the sheath around nerve cells facilitating signal transmission
  • Neurogenesis: Growth of new brain cells
  • 24% or 40% (depending on frequency) reduction in all cause mortality
  • 27% or 50% (depending on frequency) reduction in cardiovascular death
  • Up to 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s and/or dementia (depending on frequency)
health benefits of sauna use

Inside a sauna

Infrared Sauna

As this technology is somewhat new, less data is available. What has been observed thus far is that full spectrum ( as opposed to only mid or near spectrum) offers the most benefits. Infrared saunas are preferred more and more as there is less heat, so they are more bearable to some. Similar to more traditional saunas, infrared saunas can provide the following benefits:

  • Detox
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Mood enhancement
  • Similar circulation benefits
  • Cell health
  • Wound healing
  • Oxygenation

 

How Much and How Often

Is probably what you want to know now. Most of the data shows that benefits start at a frequency of 2-3 sessions a week, but more robust benefits are observed at a frequency of 4-7 sessions per week. As far as duration and temperature, that hasn’t been determined exactly, but a sweet spot seems to be about 174 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

 

 

https://goo.gl/QaFY3M
https://goo.gl/KW7FFc
https://goo.gl/oZ2BBW
https://goo.gl/i3qgxc
https://goo.gl/9PyeDr
https://goo.gl/oaUw3x
https://goo.gl/myjTLp
https://goo.gl/9UqLtp
https://goo.gl/eVBGvA
https://goo.gl/X3Av2C
Advertisements


Categories: Disease

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: