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Go to the Sauna!

The winter months are the perfect time to indulge in wellness, and especially in Debrecen because the city has great facilities. Many people go to the sauna to ease those aches and pains which are always more noticeable during the cold months. However, the benefits of using a sauna go far beyond just the superficial, sure, it feels great, but using the sauna regularly provides real benefits for one’s health.

Aquaticum Sauna World

For adults, it is recommended to Sauna 4 times a week, especially during the winter months, when typically, we are less active. Why? well because it has similar effects on the body that exercise provides. While it relaxes you, it also exercises your heart, prevents serious mental problems, and improves your quality of life.

Scientific research on sauna bathing and its health effects are plentiful, especially in Finland. The wellness trend of recent years has brought sauna bathing to the attention of the scientific community worldwide.

However, large-scale studies have been lacking until 2018, when the first large-scale population-based study on the health effects of sauna use was published.

Professor Jari Laukkanen, a specialist in cardiology who led the study, knows how to get the best health benefits from a sauna: take a sauna four to seven times a week and take a sauna for at least 20 minutes at a time at a temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees Celsius. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Some of the reported health benefits of sauna bathing include:-

  1. Its good for your mental health and memory
    Your brain will thank you for being a diligent sauna goer. Regular sauna bathing has a preventive effect, even on serious psychological problems.
  • Men who took four to seven saunas a week were up to 78% less likely to experience psychosis symptoms than men who took a sauna only once a week.

Memory also seems to benefit from saunas, according to a study that followed middle-aged Finnish men for about 20 years.

  • The risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by up to 66% in those who took a sauna more often, says Laukkanen.

How sauna bathing affects the brain remains unclear.

  • It is not known whether it is due to a specific physical effect or, for example, whether the activity, which is perceived as enjoyable, “simply prevents or delays the development of memory problems,” Laukkanen explains.
  1. Sauna provides exercise for the heart
    A sauna is good for the heart. It increases heart rate variation and boosts heart function.
  • The heart rate increases up to 120-150 beats per minute during sauna bathing, which is similar to low to moderate endurance exercise in terms of circulatory stress,” says Laukkanen.

Sauna bathing makes the blood circulate more efficiently and improves the elasticity of blood vessels. It is also known to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

  • Studies show that people who take saunas more often have fewer cerebral infarctions,” says Laukkanen.

Regular sauna-goers are even less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who take a sauna infrequently.

  • Those who took a sauna 4-7 times a week had the lowest risk compared to those who took a sauna less often,” says Laukkanen.

3. Relief from muscle pain

  • Relief from muscle pain
    A jogging sauna after a workout? Not a bad idea, as the relaxing heat of a sauna can ease muscle pain and tension.

In some cases, saunas have also been known to help relieve headaches, rheumatic pain, and fibromyalgia pain syndrome, for example.

  • However, you should be careful with these, as sometimes the heat can even make the pain worse,” says Laukkanen.
  1. Boost your resistance
    If you want to keep the flu at bay, in addition to taking vitamins and washing your hands, you can also benefit from a sauna.
  • People who sauna more often have fewer flu symptoms and their inflammation levels are slightly lower
  • There are also fewer cases of lung-related inflammatory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and even asthma among people who take a sauna.

It is not yet clear whether sauna bathing alone is the cause of improved immunity or whether other lifestyle factors also play a role.

  1. Help for skin problems
    Contrary to what one might think, it is known that sauna bathing does not dry out the skin, but on the contrary, it improves the skin’s permeability so that it does not dry out.

There is as yet no conclusive evidence that saunas help with skin problems, but they are good for the skin.

  • For example, people with psoriasis have found that saunas have helped with their skin problems,” says Laukkanen.
  1. Vitality and joie de vivre
    A sauna makes you feel good and relaxed – as anyone who enjoys a sauna knows.
  • Scientifically, relaxation is difficult to prove, but as the heart rate increases, it indirectly indicates that the autonomic nervous system of the heart is working better and the body is relaxing,” says Laukkanen.
  • Relaxation may well be a significant factor behind many of the health benefits of sauna bathing, he says.

The perceived quality of life may also improve if you take a sauna regularly. However, Laukkanen points out that it is not certain whether sauna bathing is a cause or a consequence.

Sauna bathing is suitable for almost everyone
There are few barriers to taking a sauna.

  • In general, even chronically ill people can take a sauna, as long as the illness is well managed. Sometimes, however, obstacles can include severe heart failure, low blood pressure, unstable chest pain or other serious illnesses,” says Laukkanen.

If you are unsure about the suitability of sauna bathing for your condition, it is best to seek confirmation from your doctor.