Winter can be a challenging time for staying healthy. We’re exposed to fewer hours of sunlight and the weather is cold and often wet. It’s easy to get run down and viruses, coughs and colds can be annoyingly frequent. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a sauna then you have a very effective weapon in the battle against the health challenges of winter – there are a number of different ways in which it can help.
Reducing the impact of colds and flu
Research has found that regular use of a sauna during the winter months can actually reduce the number of coughs and colds suffered at this time of year. Regularly spending 10 – 15 minutes in the sauna at around 90 degrees C will encourage more rapid production of white blood cells in the body. These are essential for helping you to fight off infections and colds. The increase in body temperature is also thought to help reduce the impact of bugs by killing them before they can affect your body. If you do end up with a cold then using your sauna can help to alleviate some of the symptoms, especially when it comes to congestion.
No more SAD
It’s not just the physical impact of this time of year that can be challenging but the mental and emotional effects too. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common in winter and most of us will feel a little blue or sluggish at some point. When you use a sauna your body releases endorphins, which naturally flood the system with good feelings. They can help to reduce pain and also produce a feeling of wellbeing. If your winter blues are being triggered by a lack of sleep then spending time in the sauna before bed could not only help you to get to sleep more easily but also improve the quality of your sleep too.
Looking and feeling healthier
If there is one thing that your body is guaranteed to do in a sauna it’s sweat. Sweat is the most effective method that the human body has for detoxifying and regularly being in a sauna and sweating it out will help your body to process impurities and flush them out of your system. The heat of a sauna works to increase the core temperature of the body – that’s the point at which sweating starts. Blood vessels begin to dilate, flushing out impurities, and the pores on your skin open, allowing it to breathe. The overall result is that you’ll not only feel healthier but look it too. At a time of year when many of us are suffering from dry, dull skin and cold, aching limbs, the heat of the sauna can help to give you a physical boost.
These are just some of the ways in which a sauna can help you to stay healthier this winter. Regular sauna time will give you an essential boost, both in terms of body and mind.