Sauna Secrets

Want to feel better? Consider heating things up in a sauna. Th­ese relaxation rooms provide dry heat at temperatures ranging from 158° to 212° Fahrenheit. Saunas’ heat causes your skin’s temperature to rise by several degrees, leading to several positive changes within the body. Most saunas are wood burning or electrically heated, although some use special lamps in what’s known as a far-infrared sauna.
Saunas’ potential health benefits include:

  • Pain relief. By increasing circulation, the heat from a sauna can help relieve muscle and joint pain. This can be especially beneficial for anyone who suffers from arthritis.
  • Weight loss. In response to the high temperatures of the sauna, your body’s heart rate will start to increase, followed by a boost in your metabolism. It’s estimated that just 20 minutes in a 170° sauna can burn more than 500 calories.
  • Glowing skin. Time in the sauna will help increase blood flow to the skin, allowing natural oils to mobilize and dead skin cells to shed away. This is also true for the scalp, allowing for certain compounds to be released that help condition hair.
  • Improved breathing. The warm, dry sauna air has been known to help loosen mucus and open airways.
  • Toxin removal. When you spend time in a sauna, you can expect to do some sweating. While this might not sound pleasant to everyone, the upside is that sweating is actually a useful way for your body to get rid of toxins, which can be helpful when it comes to workout recovery.

The potential health benefits of a good sauna session are tempting, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you use a sauna, it’s a good idea to stay away from alcohol to avoid dehydration. It’s also important to drink plenty of water afterward to help replace the fluids lost from sweating. Lastly, don’t enter the sauna if you’re sick, and be sure not to exceed the maximum recommended time, which is usually around 20 minutes per session.
Source: Medical News Today