8 Amazing Benefits of Sauna

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

The health benefits of going to the saunas include improved blood circulation, sweating, an immune system boost, toned up muscles, relief from sleeping disorders, mental agility, and much more. The health benefits of sitting in a sauna room go far beyond the leisure and beauty offered by participating in this activity. It has a strong impact on the health and the general well-being of any individual.

Health Benefits of Saunas

Let’s look at some of the health benefits of sitting in the sauna room.

Toned Muscles

A luxurious spa session can help to loosen fat and reduce cellulite, along with relieving joint pain and fatigue. Spending time in the sauna room is also thought to help in weight loss by increasing the intensity and frequency of metabolic rates.

Improved Blood Circulation

Hot saunas make the blood vessels more flexible, thereby increasing the circulation of blood, even in the extremities. It ensures complete detoxification and oxygenation of body tissues, as well as an optimum distribution of nutrients to all parts of the body, including the skin. Thus, it results in a glowing, youthful appearance. It is a time-tested cure for various respiratory ailments, including chest congestion and bronchitis, thus helping in the natural draining of the sinuses.

Shot of the interiors of a sauna, with towels and a wooden bucket with a loofah

Saunas are a great way to unwind, relax, and warm up during cold weather. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Enhanced Heart Health

During a sauna session, most people’s heartbeats increase by over 50-75%, which is basically the same increase that is caused by a physical workout. In a report published by the American College of Cardiology, leading researchers have found that saunas also aid in the treatment of coronary diseases. [1]

Profuse Sweating

Sweating is the natural mechanism of body cleansing and saunas help in flushing out waste products through sweating. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and over 30% of the total body wastes are expelled through it. Excess sweating results in the opening up of the skin’s pores and the complete removal of impurities from the body.

Our skin is constantly exposed to various chemicals and pollutants, which can make it rough and lackluster. Profuse sweating is very helpful in removing these toxins in order to bring back the healthy, beautiful glow of the skin. Also, the heat caused by the sauna expands the blood vessels and results in increased blood flow, thereby ensuring complete detoxification of the body.

Boosted Immune System

During a sauna session, your skin temperature shoots up to over 40°C, while the internal body temperature rises up to 38°C. This might trigger a mock fever state, which stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and disease-fighting white blood cells. Fever is considered as a natural mechanism to enhance the resistance to diseases.

Improved Sleep

Saunas are a simple yet effective mechanism to enhance the quality of sleep. It is recommended for people suffering from insomnia. It is estimated that a brief spell of 15-20 minutes spent in a sauna room is almost equal to 1-2 hours of a brisk walk or workout.

Reduced Disease-causing Agents

The high temperatures experienced during a sauna session result in a surge in the internal cellular energy production, which in turn ensures efficient healing. Many disease-causing pathogens like viruses and tumors are destroyed by this heat, thereby preventing recurrent infections.

An infographic on health benefits of sauna

Saunas help in weight loss, flush out toxins & boost immunity among many things. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Enhanced Mental Health

Saunas can help you reduce your daily stress and to experience ultimate relaxation and contentment. It ensures enhanced mental precision and a marked decrease in allergic conditions. Various studies have shown that liver and immune functions recorded significant improvement after sauna therapy. Saunas also aid in getting rid of heavy metals and toxins that increase the risk of traumatic disease conditions and birth defects. Saunas provide a relaxing environment that helps you to relax and unwind.

Word of Caution

  • Drink plenty of mineral water before a sauna session to compensate for the loss of salt and water you will experience due to profuse sweating.
  • If you are using an infrared sauna, make sure to remove your clothing, as it may not be effective otherwise.
  • Men should protect their testicles from direct exposure to infrared lighting.
  • The Harvard Medical School suggests that alcohol must be avoided while using a sauna. [2]
  • Do not talk or work while in the sauna room.
  • Saunas are not recommended for pregnant women, as well as people with heart ailments or any other conditions.
  • Early morning or bedtime is an ideal time for a sauna session.
  • People with slow metabolisms can use the sauna up to twice a day, while those with fast metabolisms should use it only once a week.

Make sure to get your physician’s opinion before indulging in a sauna session.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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