If you’ve been in a sauna then you’ve experienced that feel good factor you get after a relaxing session. Saunas have many benefits for skin and circulation and can also aid relaxation and sleep. Now, a study from the University of Eastern Finland has also established that spending time in a sauna could actually have the same positive benefits as exercise when it comes to heart health.
It only takes 30 minutes..
The Finnish study was conducted around testing the effects on heart health of spending 30 minutes in a sauna. It established that just sitting in a sauna could have a positive impact. In fact, 30 minutes in the sauna heat produced similar results to moderate exercise. After spending time in a sauna, those who took part in the study generally had lower blood pressure and less artery stiffness. It was also found that the sauna had increased their heart rate in the same way that might be achieved with a moderate exercise session.
But does it really work?
The study has proven there is definitely an impact on the heart from spending time in a sauna – and that the impact is positive. This isn’t the first piece of research to establish a connection between good heart health and regular sauna use. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to show that people who regularly use a sauna have a significantly decreased risk of heart disease. These same studies have shown that sauna use can also be used to reduce the risk of other serious conditions, including dementia.
The study itself provided some concrete evidence with respect to how much the sauna helped those who took part in the study. Those who were studied were in their 40s and 50s and did not have heart disease but had risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity. As well as “more elastic” arteries, the blood pressure of those who used the sauna dropped by seven points.
How does it work?
This is the part that researchers have yet to establish definitively. Most agree that the positive impact is being delivered by spending time in the heat. When the human body experiences heat, blood vessels relax and the flow of blood around the body increases. Sweating also has a considerable part to play in delivering the health benefits of spending time in a sauna.
According to the researchers who conducted the study, sweating has a “natural diuretic effect.” The impact of this is to bring blood pressure down and to take the pressure off the heart so that it has less work to do. Then there’s the fact that saunas are simply relaxing – no phones, no email and nothing to do but sit back and relax into the warmth of the heat.
If you’d like to benefit from regular use of a sauna then we can help. Contact The Hot Tub and Swim Spa Company today to find out about the choice of models and designs to enjoy in the privacy of your own home.