Sauna bathing happens in safe and controlled environments. Saunas are small rooms with controlled heating between 65 ∙C to 90 ∙C. Saunas are equipped with temperature controls and may contain rocks that absorb and give off heat.
Saunas are safe environments and the heating can be produced by several different methods depending on the rooms such as by infrared lamps, wood, electricity, and steam.
Choose The Sauna That Fits You
There are different types of saunas with a variety of uses. The Finnish sauna uses exposure to high temperatures between 80 ∙C to 100 ∙C for a brief period, for the purposes of pleasure and relaxation. The typical Finnish sauna is characterized by high temperatures and dry air. The humidity of the Finnish saunas varies from 10% to 20%. Sauna sessions consist of short baths in the rooms with cooling periods, between 5 and 20 minutes.
The Turkish sauna on the other hand uses more moisture.
You may use a sauna as part of a gym workout or as part of relaxation on vacation. Sauna bathing provides important health benefits and it is important to weigh the benefits and the risks.
Sauna Bathing Has Health Benefits
The use of saunas in bathing is associated with health benefits. According to a 2018 review of experimental and epidemiological studies, the health benefits of saunas include a reduction in blood pressure, reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation, and improvement in the cardiorespiratory system.
In two experimental studies, 100 men and women aged 32-75 years with at least 1 cardiovascular risk factor reported a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure after 30-minute sessions. In a cohort study of 2315 Finnish men during 20.7 years, a higher frequency and duration of sauna bathing was reported to be inversely proportional and independent of sudden cardiac death (SDC), fatal coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Sauna Bathing Presents Reported Health Risks
Sauna bathing is generally associated with pleasure and relaxation. It is presented as a recreation or vacation activity. There have been reports that the use of saunas has been associated with cases of heart failure. People with diagnosed cardiovascular conditions are often discouraged from sauna use because the hot and humid environment stresses the cardiovascular system.
Additionally, there have been reports of sauna bathing associated with sudden deaths. However, these deaths were due to alcohol consumption. A combination of sauna bathing and alcohol consumption increases the risks of hypotension and cardiac complications. Generally, a patient with a stable cardiovascular condition can engage in the use of saunas.
Sauna Use Can Provide A Moderate Workout
Sauna use can be incorporated into your routine as a workout. Research shows that sauna bathing increases blood pressure – rather than lowering it – producing effects comparable to moderate exercise. In the study, 19 participants were placed in a 25-minute sauna while their blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Higher blood pressure levels and an increase in heart rate were measured during the sauna visit.
In the second part of the study, the participants rode a bicycle ergometer while their blood pressure and heart rate were measured. The blood pressure levels and the heart rate during the sauna visit and the exercise were comparable. Sauna use is recommended for people who can tolerate moderate physical stress. People with low blood pressure should exercise caution as their blood pressure may fall below the levels before sauna use.
How To Use A Sauna
Though saunas are safe and controlled rooms, caution must be exercised in order to use them. Saunas are to be used properly for the best health benefits, safety, and relaxation. It is necessary to prevent dehydration or loss of water. To this end, drink water before, during, and after the session. The second important factor to consider in sauna use is the duration of the session. It is recommended to start with 5-minute sessions, then increase to 10-minute sessions, and so on. Another factor to consider is digestion. It is recommended to eat only a light snack before a sauna use in order to allow for better circulation.
Are You Ready? For Sauna Bathing?
Finally, in order to incorporate sauna bathing into your work-out, please consult with your health care physician first in order to receive the appropriate recommendations and information on appropriate duration, frequency, and diet.