Sauna is the perfect place to finish the day off or an unusual way to spend it with family or friends. Below we list countless sauna benefits for health and wellness. Let’s also have a look at what is a sauna and the different types of saunas out there.
According to the definition, a sauna is a room with either high temperature and high humidity (steam room), or high temperature and low humidity (dry sauna). With people who keep up with the challenges of their hectic lives, the sauna can do wonders.
So, for what health conditions do saunas help the body?
The outstanding therapeutic effects of the sauna (with suitably selected parameters) for people suffering from muscle, joint and spine disorders, asthma, hypertension, cardiological diseases, rheumatic pains, and even anorexia have been proven indisputably.
Sauna’s great advantage is also that it strengthens the immune system and the resistance to infections such as colds and flu.
The steam sauna, also known as the Roman sauna or wet room, has 100% humidity, but the temperature is lower, around 122°F (50°C). This allows for longer use of the sauna than in the case of the Scandinavian sauna (Finnish, Swedish).
The steam room sauna helps with respiratory illnesses, rheumatic pains and stimulates blood circulation. In the steam room, the temperature reaches a maximum of 140°F (60°C), so it is ideal for people who, due to high temperatures, are not able to use traditional saunas. The wet sauna is characterized by low humidity, about 25-40%. This type of sauna accelerates the burning of fat, helps get rid of cellulite, and also stimulates blood circulation, and firms the body.
The herbal steam sauna, where the temperature starts at 122°F (50°C) and gradually increases to a maximum of 194°F (90°C), includes using water with the aroma of various herbs or essential oils. This way your body gets stronger which has a positive effect on immunity and blood circulation. The herbal sauna is the mildest steam sauna where herbal inhalations are used. In addition, it can relieve unpleasant sinus symptoms from colds or allergies. Tip: add eucalyptus to the water for additional benefit and total pleasure.
On the other hand, the Finnish sauna, which is dry, is suggested only for people who tolerate high temperatures. The Finnish sauna is a traditional bathing ritual, during which you will feel the power of hot, dry air and the soothing effect of cold water. This type of sauna is a great idea for people complaining of muscle pain, joint pain, and also for those with lung problems.
The Finnish sauna is also a good solution for people with heart conditions and after a heart attack, although they can only use it after six months has passed. In Finland, the sauna is a very important element of life. It is an honor if you are invited to it, so you should not reject.
Salt sauna is a cooler sister of the traditional Finnish sauna - the temperature applied in it is 140-158°F (60-70°C), and the humidity level is 5-20%. It is an excellent therapy for people suffering from respiratory diseases and medical problems with the lungs, bronchi, trachea, throat, and larynx.
The Himalayan or Tibetan salt sauna is a dry sauna, in which the walls are lined with stone blocks of salt. Salt sauna, thanks to the right choice of temperature, humidity and salt application, negatively ionizes the air and saturates it with vital elements. It also maintains a unique microclimate.
Word of caution: dry saunas are dangerous for our hair, so it is best to tie them with a soft rubber band, and also use protective cosmetics to avoid drying your hair.
Another type of sauna is an infrared sauna that belongs to the dry types of saunas. Modern infrared saunas are becoming increasingly popular. They are an alternative to the traditional steam and dry cabins, which are heated with an electric or wood-fired oven. The infrared sauna, which uses infrared infrared rays, is based on the technology of special ceramic infrared heaters that are warming up the interior to a temperature of 122°F (50°C).
It is also a perfect option for people who can’t tolerate high temperatures. The ideal composition of warm water and air soothes the strained muscles and stimulates the circulatory system. In addition, the infrared sauna has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, increasing the blood supply to tissues and organs and regulating the heart.
During the session in the infrared cabin oxygen absorption increases, which improves blood circulation. The unique feature of infrared saunas lies in the fact that over 80% of the energy penetrating our body transforms into heat, warming it "from the inside", and only less than 20% of the infrared energy heats the air.
A traditional sauna must rely on indirect heating methods (air currents, then conduction), which in turn causes direct contact of hot air with the skin and then heating the body "from the outside". In infrared saunas, neither sweating nor stronger peripheral circulation is a barrier as we are dealing with the effect of deep heat.
Even a single 30-minute session in the sauna may provide the following health benefits:
Detoxify Safely And Effectively
It is believed the accumulation of toxins in our environment is a major factor in developing lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The sauna induces excessive perspiration and thus, makes it possible to sweat out many of these toxins from your body, even heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
Recent studies show that most people have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in the fat cells of their bodies. These chemicals and heavy metals make up the "total toxic burden". When the body goes over the limit of what it can excrete, it starts to store these toxins. This bioaccumulation seriously compromises our physiological and psychological health to a great extent, it results in chronic diseases! The sauna offers a natural and safe way of effective detoxification of many toxins and heavy metals accumulated in our bodies over time.
Assist In Weight Loss
Because the body makes an effort to cool itself, there is an increase in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate. Sitting in the sauna, it is possible to burn up to 600 calories in just 30 minutes, which is often more than you’ll burn on a 30-minute run. Sauna causes intense sweating, and the body burns 0.586 kcal when producing one gram of sweat. Weight loss occurs because body fat becomes water-soluble at 109.5°F (43°C) and the body will remove it through sweat. The inability to lose weight is frequently associated with chemical toxicity. So the sauna combined with a healthy diet will allow you to fit into that old jeans.
Cellulite occurs because the body is storing toxins in fat (adipose) tissues. While sweating in the sauna, toxins are being eliminated from this part of the body, reducing cellulite. It is particularly effective in cellulite reduction when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and massage.
Improve Skin Tone
By improving circulation, the sauna has been shown to relieve acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, lesions, and cuts. It also supports the cell's energy, enabling cell functions to be enhanced, resulting in softer, silkier, glowing, and more radiant skin. Regular using of the sauna has a positive effect on beauty, especially on the condition and appearance of the skin. By constantly rinsing the body cells out of waste, the sauna will bring back vitality, tone, and a healthy glow to the skin.
Energize The Body And Relax The Mind
Enjoy a sense of relaxation and revitalization as your body releases endorphins (the "feel-good” hormones), into your system. While in the sauna, you may listen to music, read, or meditate as you discover the therapeutic benefits.
A high level of stress, which causes many chronic diseases, is most often due to continuous strain on the autonomic nervous system. Sauna not only cleanses the body of toxins and by-products of metabolism, but also relieves all tension, relaxes the nerves and muscles. Several researchers have linked endorphins to enhancing the immune system, relieving pain, reducing stress, and delaying the aging process. The hot steam soothes the strained muscles and stimulates the circulatory system. The sauna has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, increasing the blood supply to tissues and organs and regulating the heart.
Without any doubt, a sauna is the best place to detox the body. In this unique scenery, you can cleanse the body and relax the mind, regenerate strength and gain new energy. So, give it a try and indulge yourself in a sauna.