1. Elevated Cardiovascular Function
A small study published in the International Heart Journal in 2015 found that sauna therapy, which increases your body and skin temperature, improved cardiac functioning and exercise capacity for people experiencing chronic heart failure. The therapy involved sitting in a dry sauna for 15 minutes and then resting under a blanket outside of the sauna for 30 minutes to maintain warmth. This process of raising body temperature could potentially raise your cardiac output or heart rate.
Performing this 45-minute treatment once a day for 3 weeks significantly improved the cardiac functioning of study participants, contributing to overall heart health. You can also use this technique as a preventative measure against cardiovascular diseases and to enhance your physical activity or workout routine. Resting in a sauna after performing an intense cardiovascular exercise can help open the blood vessels, increasing nourishment from enhanced blood flow to the muscles you just worked.
5. Reduced Joint Stiffness and Soreness
Research has connected frequent sauna bathing with reduced systemic inflammation. That’s the inflammation that takes over your body and contributes to stiff, sore joints and muscles. It also contributes to many painful health conditions like arthritis. Improving blood circulation has the added benefit of reducing inflammation, which in turn reduces chronic pain and the stiff, sore muscles that may interfere with your quality of life.
You can also use this benefit to your advantage when working out at the gym. Relaxing in the sauna after your physical activity or workout can get your blood flowing and help keep your muscles and joints from getting stiff. You can also try it out between workouts if you feel sore.
7. Stronger Immune System
Just 15 minutes in the sauna can give your immune system a boost, particularly useful for fighting off common cold symptoms. If you bathe in the sauna regularly, it supports your overall health and wellness by helping you combat colds, the flu, and other illnesses that are passed around throughout the year. A boosted immune system may also heal wounds or cuts faster while fighting serious diseases that could otherwise deteriorate your quality of life.
One study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that athletes benefited from a boosted immune system more than participants who weren’t as well trained. As you work on maintaining a healthy body weight and training your body, you can multiply the positive impact of your sauna sessions.
8. Enhanced Athletic Performance
All of the benefits already discussed make it easy to see how spending even short periods of time in a sauna can improve your athletic performance. It may reduce your recovery time after intense workouts and help keep your joints and muscles in prime working condition. Athletes may also benefit from the mental benefits if they utilize their sauna time to meditate, visualize success, or simply relax and clear their minds.
This benefit isn’t limited to pro athletes. If you’re starting a new exercise program or have a hobby sport, this is great for you as well.
10. Healthy, Radiant Skin
Finally, you will exit the sauna with a fresh glow on your rosy cheeks. The more you sweat in the sauna, the more it can detoxify your skin and help clear up acne and other problems. As your blood circulates and sweat is released, you’re also pushing out toxins that can have a negative impact on your health and wellness. This can also contribute to weight loss. Enjoy the glow!