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What effect does the sauna have on our health?

Date: 07/05/2020

Saunas have been used by people for thousands of years and even to this day are preferred by many of us.


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For hundreds of years, Scandinavian people have used saunas as a means of relaxation and body cleansing. There are about two million saunas in Finland, whereas the population of this country is 5.5 million. To say that the Scandinavians are simply fans of the sauna is to say nothing.

 

The fact that saunas have been around for such a long time comes as no surprise because it has many health benefits. But it also has some contraindications, which means to avoid further health problems and complications, you need to consult with your doctor before going to the sauna.

 

Sweating is one of the vital functions of the human body. It regulates the temperature changes in the body. In addition to temperature change, sweating removes all the harmful substances that accumulate in our body, such as toxins, metabolic toxins, and so on. All these harmful substances come out of our body through water, which is the main particle of sweat. It consists of water, salt, various organic compounds, etc. 

 

While many of us are annoyed and embarrassed by sweat and try to prevent sweating with different means, constant sweating it’s actually very important for our bodies. Instead of preventing it, we need to improve it. But since sweat is still embarrassing in everyday social life, that’s exactly where saunas come to rescue. The high temperature in the sauna also reduces the number of harmful substances in the body - heavy metals (mercury, zinc, nickel, etc.) and as a result of heat, the body temperature rises and the blood circulation improves, which in turn leads to an improvement in the work of the heart. Regular sauna procedures promote skin elasticity, tone, and improve skin coverage. There is a popular opinion that saunas help to cope with stress easily.

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We’ve mentioned some of the many benefits of the sauna, but even the healthiest procedures come with certain risks at least for certain groups of people. In order to avoid them and use saunas effectively we need to consider the following:

 

  1. The moderate use of saunas is safe for many people. However, people with cardiovascular disease should consult their doctor before taking a sauna.
  2. Blood pressure risks. In saunas, the switch from hot water to cold and vice versa is not desirable, as it can raise blood pressure. The use of a sauna can also cause a drop of blood pressure, so people with low blood pressure should also consult their doctor to make sure everything is safe.
  3. Those who have had a heart attack should also consult a doctor.
  4. The saunas also have a risk of dehydration. As a result of sweating, the body releases water, people with kidney problems may be at greater risk of dehydration.

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How to avoid the above-mentioned and other risks? Just follow the steps below.



  1. Limit the spent time. Spend a maximum of 20 minutes in the sauna: for first-time visitors, people should spend a maximum of 5-10 minutes. When you get used to the heat, you can slowly increase the period of up to 20 minutes.
  2. Drink plenty of water. No matter what type of sauna you go, it is possible to restore the fluid lost through sweat. Drink 2 to 4 glasses of cold water, and if your body needs more, listen to it. :) 
  3. Do not immediately change the temperature of the water from hot to cold, it is stressful for the body.
  4. People with heart, kidney and blood pressure problems and pregnant women should consult their doctor.

 

Stay safe and healthy.

 

Sources - 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313109

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/saunas-and-your-health

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/are-saunas-good-for-you#1