A Visit to the sauna is more than just relaxing; it seems to have real heart and cardiovascular benefits, as well. A group of researchers from the University of Eastern Finland—who previously found that people who regularly used saunas had lower rates of hypertension, cardiac death and dementia compared to infrequent users—now find in a new study that sauna bathing can have a direct effect on blood pressure, heart rate and vascular health.
The team’s earlier studies on the health benefits of saunas, published in 2015 through 2017, were observational—meaning they could only find associations, and not cause-and-effect relationships, between sauna use and health outcomes. This time, however, the Finnish researchers recruited 102 people and monitored them immediately before and after a 30-minute sauna session to see what happened. Check out Portable Sauna Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.
The use of saunas for stress relief, relaxation, and health promotion has been around for decades. Some studies now even point to better heart health with regular use of a dry sauna.
While sitting in a sauna for the recommended amount of time is generally safe, there are some safety tips and precautions you should consider before giving this heated, wood-lined room a try.
Keep reading to learn more about these safety recommendations, along with the many benefits of dry saunas and how they compare to steam rooms and infrared saunas.
Although historical pieces of evidence provide solid ground for us to believe the benefits of saunas in the Americas, their origin is mainly attributed to Europe, particularly in the Nordic region. The Finnish sauna culture is well-established and recognised all over the world.
Wherever it might have originated, sauna culture has spread all over the world in modern times. This is because of the recognition of health benefits offered by a sauna session, by therapists and common people, alike.
Saunas are small houses or rooms designed for having heat sessions, which can be dry or wet.
In this article, we’ll look into the unexpected benefits of the sauna, if we are to have a session or two.
Dry Sauna Vs. Wet Sauna
“Sauna” is the only commonly used Finnish word in the English language. However, most English speakers pronounce it incorrectly. In Finnish, every syllable is pronounced, and the first take emphasis. Broken into syllables, the sauna would be pronounced “SA-oo-na.” When said fast in English, it should sound like “sow-na” instead of “saw-na,” as many English speakers say.
Chances are you’ve heard of the terms “dry sauna” and “wet sauna,” but do you know what the difference is?
A wet sauna is not a sauna at all, at least, not in the way of traditional saunas. The term “wet sauna” is usually used to describe a steam room, which generates moist heat. Like a sauna, it can open your pores and loosen up muscles, among other health benefits. Unlike saunas, however, a steam room is almost airtight, building up a great amount of humidity; the air is so damp that water condenses to the walls. Heat is created in a steam room with a device called a steam generator, which boils water into steam and releases it into the air.
A dry sauna, or as we now know, a traditional sauna, creates dry heat in an entirely different way. The most traditional way is with wood burning in a stove, and water is poured with a ladle from a sauna bucket onto the rocks above it. This does generate some moisture, but nowhere near the levels of a steam room. The other way is electric, where an electric stove heats the rocks for an even dryer heat. This is most common in small spaces like apartments or gyms. Saunas have a vent that continually brings fresh air in to limit humidity build-up.
Most sauna temperatures are set between 160 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while steam rooms run around 110 or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the 100 per cent humidity keeps your sweat from evaporating, though, steam rooms can often feel even hotter than saunas. The temperature is measured with a thermometer, and a hygrometer shows the humidity level.
You may be wondering whether a wet sauna (steam room) or dry sauna is better for you. Those who have conditions aggravated by humidity will find that a sauna is the best option, while steam rooms can help more with congestion in the chest or sinuses. It all comes down to personal preference.
Ways It Makes You Healthier and Happier
Saunas flush toxins.
One of the ways the human body removes toxins from the body is through sweat.
Profound sweating is a highly effective way to remove toxins the body might have absorbed in several ways. And the sauna does just that.
In the intense heat sessions in the sauna, a lot of sweating can be experienced, which helps flushing toxins from the body in a great way. Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need
Saunas help in weight loss.
Sauna therapy is a great way for weight loss, with minimal effort. During a sauna bath, the heart rate increases substantially due to the dry heat.
Scientific calibrations suggest that a 20-minute session at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit burns over 500 calories. The body’s metabolism speeds up similar to the way it does from physical exercise and is a great method to maintain weight.
Saunas make the immune system stronger.
Another one of the major benefits of sauna is that it helps to create a stronger immune system.
Sauna sessions help produce white blood cells. The white blood cells of the body are its medium to fight against attacking infections and ailments.
As the regular users of sauna have a higher count of white blood cells, they stay healthier, and if illnesses occur, they heal faster.
Saunas promote social interaction.
This benefit may not be up for the grabs for users of the small-sized private sauna. However, they provide a great medium for social interaction among friends and relatives, if you or you acquaintances have a grand private sauna or you use public saunas.
Saunas help improve performance during endurance sports.
Our body has a certain level of heat tolerance. Regular use of saunas increases the heat tolerance threshold. This leads to significant improvements in endurance sports as regular sauna users have a higher heat tolerance level and thus, feel less fatigue and can maintain their energy level over a prolonged period of time, improving performance.
Saunas make hair look great.
We have a special gland called the sebaceous gland on our scalp, which releases compounds that help condition and moisturise our hair. Spending some time in the sauna activates this gland, which will then release these useful compounds, thereby helping to make hair look great.
There’s no need to spend a fortune on risky hair care products.
Saunas help to recover from workouts.
Nowadays, a lot of gyms have a sauna, and there are plenty of good reasons for this. Saunas are highly effective ways to recover from workouts. The metabolic wastes are eliminated while sweating in a sauna. The blood flow to tired and strained muscles increases through sauna, helping them to recover quickly and feel relaxed much quicker.
Saunas help you look younger
One of the significant organs of our body, your skin also needs regular exercise and saunas are a great way to exercise skin.
As we grow older, more of the dead cells accumulate onto our skin pores, as the skin becomes less elastic. A few sessions in the sauna improve blood flow to our skin, which aids the growth of new skin and also removes all the dead cells that were building up previously.
The oils, which are the natural moisturisers and antibiotics present in our skin, are mobilised through saunas. This helps us to look younger in a significant way.
It relieves stress
Many sauna users have known for years that using saunas is a great way to relieve stress. There are several reasons why:
- You’re choosing to relax: When you step into a sauna, you’re cutting yourself off from the world outside. That means no computers, phones, or anything else that can try and get your attention. All you have to do is sit back and relax.
- Release endorphins: Thanks to the increased heart rate you’ll get after sitting in a sauna, you’ll get more endorphins around your body. These ‘feel good’ chemicals help you relax and feel happier in yourself.
- Social time: If you choose to spend time in a sauna with friends, then it’s a great way to socialise. No ones are spending time on their phone or getting distracted, and you’re all getting the same health benefits. As well as this, socialising, in general, is a great way to unwind. Why not combine it with the health benefits of the sauna?
A home sauna can give you all these benefits, and more
If all these benefits sound good to you, then perhaps it’s worth having a sauna installed in your own home. There are all kinds of benefits you can enjoy for yourself, and it’s much more cost-effective than you’d think.
- A private sauna: Your sauna will be yours and yours alone to enjoy. You can shut the door behind you and shut the rest of the world out. There’s nothing better than having the whole sauna to yourself.
- Convenience: You no longer have to travel to your nearest spa or gym to use a sauna, you can step into the next room, and you’re there.
- Health benefits: you can take advantage of the health benefits of saunas whenever you want.
If you live with health conditions that can be helped by a sauna, then getting a home sauna is a smart move. Look after your health in the comfort of your own home.
Now you know just how much a sauna can benefit you. Give it a try and see how a sauna can improve your health. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel.
How dry saunas compare to steam rooms
Sauna or steam? It’s a common question many people have when trying to decide where to spend their time. Steam rooms use a generator filled with boiling water to heat the space, which typically is somewhere around 110°F (43.3°F).
The water causes humidity, and consequently, creates a wet environment for you to sit in.
This wet or damp air is very different from the dry air you experience in a dry sauna. Because of this, some of the health benefits of a steam room are different than the benefits of a sauna.
Steam rooms may help improve circulation, loosen stiff muscles and joints, promote skin health by opening pores, and break up congestion inside your sinuses and lungs.
How dry saunas compare to infrared saunas
A dry sauna and an infrared sauna both heat your body, but that may be where the similarities end.
When you sit in an infrared sauna, your body is warmed directly by the heat from the infrared lamps that use electromagnetic radiation. Dry saunas, on the other hand, heat the air around you. This type of heat directed to the body is what makes infrared saunas a popular choice for many people.
Infrared saunas also operate at a much lower temperature, usually between 120˚F (48.9°C) and 140˚F (60°C). And you can stay in them longer than dry saunas, with 20 minutes being the average time.
If you’re new to this experience, start with a 10- to 15-minute session, and gradually work your way up. Some people will stay in an infrared sauna for up to 30 minutes.
If you are considering building a sauna in your home, there are factors you will want to consider before beginning the project. The first is deciding which type of sauna you will need. There are two general types: a wet sauna and a dry sauna. Both work differently and have varying benefits, so knowing them may be an important part of your decision.
A sauna that uses a wood-burning stove or a more modern electric stove can be used as a wet or dry sauna. The difference will depend on the temperature and humidity inside. Wet home saunas are often called steam saunas. Most saunas today use a heater and some volcanic rocks. In both cases, the rocks are heated to a high temperature. The main difference between a wet and dry sauna is the water that is splashed over the rocks in a sauna that is wet. Because the rocks are heated to such an extreme temperature, the water vaporises very quickly, causing steam to form. In a dry sauna, there is no water, just heated rocks.
When you sit in a wet sauna, you sweat, which causes unwanted toxins to leave your body. It is also believed that using a wet sauna on a regular basis can decrease one’s chances of certain illnesses because many viruses cannot live in such high temperatures.
Dry saunas are believed to relieve tension and stress, stimulate blood circulation, and help rejuvenate the skin through perspiration. As with a wet sauna, using a dry sauna will cause sweating to occur, thus invoking some of the same benefits of a wet sauna. In a dry sauna, the heat is much more tolerable, but the actual effect on the body is better because the heat is reaching it directly, thus producing results more quickly. Because the body still produces sweat, humidity is present, so the body is still cooled, and toxins leave in much the same way as with a wet sauna. It is believed. However, the process takes place more quickly with dry heat, and that it is possible to spend more time in the sauna and reap the benefits for longer because of its tolerability.
Whether you choose to install a wet or dry sauna, make sure you are aware of all risks and benefits that may be associated with owning it. It is important to follow all directions and use it correctly. By doing so, you will receive more enjoyment and may remain healthier in the process.
Knowing the proper way to use a sauna before your first session can help keep you safe and make your experience more beneficial. Check out Portable Sauna Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.
Length of time. Most guidelines say 15 minutes is a reasonable time limit for most healthy adults. However, the length of time you stay in a sauna also depends on your comfort level.
You may need to start with a shorter session and work your way up to the maximum time. You can also break up a larger chunk of time into smaller segments with the cooling time between sessions. Most saunas come with a timer, so make sure you set it for the appropriate time before getting in.
Normal temperature ranges. The temperature in a dry sauna can range from 150°F to 195°F (65.6°C to 90.6°C) with the higher end being more of the average temperature.
Cooling down period. If you’re doing more than one sauna session at a time, make sure to step out of the sauna and give your body a cooldown period before getting back in. Use this time to sit, relax, and hydrate.
In addition to the guidelines for using a sauna, there are also several precautions to consider before settling into a relaxing sauna session.
- Don’t go over the recommended time.
- Drink plenty of water before and after you use the sauna.
- Allow your body temperature to cool gradually after leaving the sauna.
- Avoid alcohol before and after your sauna session.
- Get up slowly to avoid getting dizzy. If you do feel dizzy or faint, sit down and let your body cool.
- Take a shower before your sauna session.
Are saunas safe to use?
In general, saunas are safe to use. That said, there are times when using a sauna may be unsafe. If you’re not properly hydrated, using a sauna may cause dehydration.
Since your body sweats as a way to maintain a steady core temperature, the longer you stay in a sauna, the more water you will lose. This may pose a problem for anyone that’s not properly hydrated before a sauna session.
Most healthy adults can avoid adverse side effects if they follow the proper safety procedures for using a sauna.
Incorporating dry sauna sessions into your wellness routine may lead to several health benefits. For healthy adults, using a sauna at the recommended temperature for 10 to 15 minutes per session is considered safe.
Make sure to follow all of the safety precautions before using a sauna, and allow your body adequate time to cool down after you finish.
If you have any medical conditions or health issues, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor prior to sitting in a sauna.