Sauna Use for Good Health and Longevity by Nicolette Roux

Sauna therapy's positive impact on longevity.
Written by
Brian Leddy
Beginner
In the finnish sauna 2023 11 27 05 35 00 utc

Saunas, revered across cultures for millennia, are not just a relaxation indulgence but a powerful tool for enhancing health and promoting longevity. Plus, between the sweat and the swoll, your body looks great if you catch a post-sauna glimpse in the mirror. 

Peter Attia does a deep dive on saunas which basically highlights the impressive span of benefits of the sauna.

From reducing all-cause mortality, to improving mental health and cardiovascular function, here's a comprehensive look at how sauna therapy contributes to a healthier, longer life.

Decreased All-Cause Mortality and Better Cardiovascular Health

One of the most striking benefits of regular sauna use is its potential to decrease overall mortality rates. Research indicates that frequent sauna bathing correlates with a lower risk of fatal cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. 

The heat exposure in a sauna induces a substantial increase in heart rate and cardiac output, akin to moderate exercise, thereby improving cardiovascular function over time.

This effect is observed across various types of saunas, including infrared, steam, and dry saunas.

Decreased Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Sauna sessions show promise in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.

The increased circulation and heat stress from sauna use stimulate the production of proteins that help maintain the health of neurons, potentially preserving cognitive function as individuals age.

Decreased Stress and Improved Mental Health

The sauna's heat promotes relaxation by soothing muscles and releasing tension, which can alleviate stress levels significantly.

This relaxation response is further enhanced by the release of endorphins and other 'feel-good' hormones, contributing to improved mental health and overall well-being.

Better Sleep

Regular sauna use has been linked to improved sleep quality. The body's natural cooling process after leaving the sauna helps facilitate deeper sleep. For optimal sleep benefits, it's recommended to schedule a sauna session about one to two hours before bedtime.

Detoxification

Saunas are hot, and when we get home, we sweat. Saunas are renowned for their detoxification benefits. Sweating isn't just about cooling down; it's a vital mechanism for eliminating toxins.

Saunas promote sweating, prompting the body to release heavy metals like lead and mercury, along with other harmful substances accumulated from daily exposure to processed foods, pollution, and household chemicals.

Improved Sports Performance

Saunas aren't just for relaxation and longevity; they also serve as a tool for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to enhance their sports performance and recovery.

It's important to note that saunas should be used post-exercise to reap the benefits.

It's been shown that 30 minutes of sauna use prior to exercise has led to worse performance on endurance and strength tests, relative to no sauna use pre-workout. 

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Following a workout, sauna use can amplify the benefits of exercise on cardiovascular health. The heat exposure mimics the effects of physical exertion, promoting blood flow and enhancing oxygen delivery to muscles. This can lead to improved endurance and overall athletic performance over time.

Pain Relief and Recovery

Saunas help alleviate muscle soreness and accelerate recovery after intense physical activity. The increased circulation from sauna-induced heat promotes the removal of metabolic waste products and enhances the delivery of nutrients to tired muscles.

Decreased Inflammation

Inflammation, a natural response to exercise-induced stress, can be modulated by sauna therapy. Regular sauna sessions have been shown to reduce markers of inflammation in the body, potentially speeding up recovery times between workouts.

Bottom line: 

Sauna therapy stands as a time-tested practice that not only promotes relaxation, but delivers substantial health benefits across the board. Incorporating regular sauna sessions into your routine is a valuable addition to any health regimen, and very well may serve as your key to good health and longevity. 

Applicable Goals: 

Detoxify Your Body

Improve Cardiorespiratory Health

Reduce Emotional Stress and Anxiety 

Improve Deep Sleep 

Brian Leddy Profile Image
Brian Leddy CEO & Co-Founder, BodyStack (FDN-P)
Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner (FDN-P) and owner of Leddy Functional Wellness. Formerly an Adweek Executive and Media Entreprenuer, Brian pivoted his career to focus on inspiring and coaching people from all walks of life to make positive strides in their respective health journeys. Brian is a Co-Founder, and now serves as the CEO of BodyStack.
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