Benefits of Using a Sauna
You may have noticed a new addition to the SAA gym floor… a sauna! Now that you have access to a sauna here at SAA, let’s talk about WHY you may want to hop in there every once in a while.
1.Promotes muscle recovery: The heat from a sauna enhances the circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood throughout the entirety of your body. What this means is that muscles that
have been damaged by your training, are being worked towards repair.
2. Improves heart health: Due to the circulation of the oxygen-rich blood, our cardiovascular system is going to see some benefits. Heart rate and core temperature increases along with improved blood pressure. Ultimately these effects can lower your chances of heart disease and high blood pressure. Sauna therapy can improve overall cardiac function.
3. Can help you relax and boost your mood: One of the main benefits of the sauna is its
ability to both relax you, and trigger euphoric hormones. These euphoric hormones tend to stick around post sauna, making it great for those days when you need to get out of a bad mood. More research needs to be done here, but there is some promising data surrounding the benefits of saunas for those with common mental disorders (depression & anxiety).
4. Improves sleep: If you are someone who has trouble sleeping, the sauna is for you! Its ability to relax can reap benefits for those with insomnia, restless legs, or sleep apnea.
5. May lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases: Studies have demonstrated that regular sauna usage can lower risk of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, and Dementia.
6. May improve endurance: A sauna mimics the effects of moderate aerobic exercise. Thus if you are adapting to heat well in a sauna this may help in other modalities such as long distance runs. One study even showed that those who exercised and used a sauna had better cardiorespiratory fitness than those who solely used the sauna or solely exercised.
The sauna is more than just a sweat machine. The benefits listed here demonstrate just how great regular sauna usage can be. Check out the cites below if you want to learn more.
Thanks for reading. Happy sweating!
Henderson, K. N., Killen, L. G., O'Neal, E. K., & Waldman, H. S. (2021, January 27). The cardiometabolic health benefits of sauna exposure in individuals with high-stress occupations. A mechanistic review. International journal of environmental research and public health. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7908414/
JD;, S. G. S. H. W. G. M. S. C. (n.d.). Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners. Journal of science and medicine in sport. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16877041/
SK;, L. T. L. J. A. K. (n.d.). Sauna bathing and risk of psychotic disorders: A prospective cohort study. Medical principles and practice : international journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30173212/
Knekt, P., Järvinen, R., Rissanen, H., Heliövaara, M., & Aromaa, A. (2020, October 2). Does sauna bathing protect against dementia? Preventive medicine reports. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7560162/
Patrick, R. (2022, April 10). Sauna benefits deep dive and optimal use with dr. Rhonda Patrick & medcram. YouTube. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://youtu.be/RWkv9ad7zvc