There are considerable things that saunas are “doing” for the body. A wide array of health benefits can be reaped from regular sauna use and quite a decent amount of scientific studies to back up those claims. Let me list a few :
1. Increased Endurance and Physical Performance Through Hyperthermic Conditioning :
Hyperthermic Conditioning is the process through which you accustom your body to withstand substantial amount of heat in order to increase it’s endurance. By increasing their body’s endurance to high heats, athletes and folks have been able to dramatically improve their performances during endurance training.
Regular exposure to high temperatures causes your thermoregulatory system to adapt to those harsh conditions, making it easier for your body to cope with negative effects of overheating. Hyperthermic Conditioning through sauna use has also been shown to have positive effects such as:
- Improved Cardiovascular functions
- Lower heart rate.
- Lower core temperature during workload
- Increased blood flow to skeletal muscles and other tissues
- Increased efficiency of oxygen transport to muscles.
- Increased red blood cell counts and more.
One study demonstrated that a 30-minute sauna session two times a week for three weeks POST-workout increased the time that it took for study participants to run until exhaustion by 32% compared to baseline. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners.
There’s also a great article on Tim Ferriss Blog that goes in depth on that. Feel free to give it a look : Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing “Drug”
2. Increased Neurogenesis (Creation of new cells in the body)
Heat stress as been shown to increase Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) which is responsible for the generation of new cells in the body. Sauna use can be a great tool to increase the amount of BDNF in your system especially used in conjunction with physical training. Higher amount of BDNF can be correlated with :
- Increased learning abilities
- Increased long-term memory
- Reduction of anxiety and depression
- Muscle repair
- Growth of new muscle cells
Feel free to check out this study on the subject : Running enhances neurogenesis, learning, and long-term potentiation in mice
3. Reduced Risks of All Cause Mortality
In a Finnish Study conducted over a 20 years period on more than 3400 men from Eastern Finland aged between 42–60 years old, regular sauna use (between 4–7 days/week) has demonstrated it had a reductive and protective effects against :
- Sudden Cardiac Death
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Coronary Heart Disease
Here’s the in-depth/detailed study : Sauna Bathing and Mortality
4. Detoxification (Studies using Full Spectrum Infrared Saunas)
A study conducted on Utah Police Officers suffering from toxicity related chronic-illnesses due to extended exposure to chemical compounds such as metamphetamine has shown promising results when using an Infrared Sauna-Based Therapy.
Goal of the study was to decrease symptoms such as :
- Immune System Deficiency
- Respiratory Issues
- Cognitive Issues
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Neurological Issues
- Emotional Issues
After the study, neurotoxicity scores and chronic symptoms were reduced as much as 50–70% from their original baseline.
All in all, these sauna benefits are pretty significant and can undoubtedly be a game changer on your overall health and well-being.
I’d also point out how amazingly fun they are. I personally love to go for a sweat as a social activity with friends, family or girlfriend. I’m a big fan of traditional dry saunas were you splash water on the rocks you’re able to smell the scent of wood. There’s something meditative in that, love it !
For more tips, tricks, scientific studies, articles and goodies feel free to join our FREE Facebook group below : https://www.facebook.com/groups/saunabenefits/
Sweat Safely !
Gabriel from Northern Saunas