Saunas can be extremely relaxing and therapeutic, especially after an intense workout. When used in moderation, they offer a wide range of health benefits—including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Before using a sauna, it helps to know the risks involved to avoid serious conditions like dehydration. Are saunas good for you? Can they help you meet your health goals? Here’s what you need to know.
Why Are Saunas Good for You?
The temperature in a sauna room usually ranges between 158° and 212° Fahrenheit. The high temperatures in this range will increase your heart rate and widen your blood vessels. As a result, your heart will start pumping a higher amount of blood, and you’ll begin to sweat.
Your body’s reaction to being in a sauna produces a variety of benefits that can boost your overall health and wellness.
What Are Saunas Good For?
Saunas are great for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Increased blood flow and circulation can make you feel relaxed and reduce your stress level. Some saunas, such as the Dundalk Sauna, resemble small wood cabins that can make you feel as though you’re vacationing in the middle of the forest.
A sauna can also naturally reduce soreness in your muscles and joints, along with pain caused by chronic conditions such as arthritis. It helps open your airways and loosen phlegm, which can make you feel better if you suffer from asthma or have an illness like a cold or flu. It can even help your body eliminate toxins through your sweat, leaving you with smoother, clearer skin.
Evidence suggests that saunas can reduce your risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s. According to research published in a 2017 issue of Age and Ageing, men who used a sauna 2-7 times a week were at a significantly lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s than men who used a sauna once a week. If your goal with sauna use is to improve multiple areas of your health, consider a Medical Sauna for at-home use.
Are Saunas Good for Your Skin?
Spending time in a sauna regularly may help you achieve more glowing and youthful-looking skin. Increased blood circulation helps deliver additional oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. This can add moisture to your skin to make it look more plump and rejuvenated and may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.
Sweating in a sauna also helps clear your skin of toxins, improving skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
What Are the Risks of Using a Sauna?
There are very few risks to using saunas as long as you use them responsibly. However, consult your healthcare provider before using a sauna, as they may not be ideal for people with certain health conditions. For instance, you may want to avoid using a sauna if you are pregnant or have a heart-related condition like heart disease or high blood pressure.
Dehydration is the number one risk of using a sauna due to the amount of sweat your body releases. The risk for dehydration when using a sauna is heightened if you exercise immediately beforehand.
Here are some tips that can help you stay safe when using a sauna:
- Limit your time in a sauna to between 15 and 20 minutes. If you are new to using a sauna, start with five minutes, then gradually increase your time. Avoid alcohol beforehand. Alcohol can further increase your risk for dehydration and make you feel ill and overheated. Drink plenty of water before and after using a sauna. This can help replenish the fluids you lost after both working out and using the sauna. Avoid using the sauna when you are feeling ill. A sauna may worsen your illness or cause additional serious symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, and fainting.
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