5 Hot Reasons a Sauna is Good for You

Photo (cc) by Hotel Arthur Helsinki

A recently published 20-year study of Finnish men associated dry-sauna bathing with a decreased likelihood of death from heart problems, or from other causes.

Reuters reports:

The more often the men went to the sauna, and the longer they stayed, the lower their risk for sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and fatal cardiovascular disease over those 20 years.

The study is the latest to support the health benefits of saunas. Other recent studies indicate those benefits also include relief of tension headaches, body fat loss and stress relief.

List of sauna benefits

Tension headaches: “Regular sauna bathing is a simple, self-directed treatment that is effective for reducing headache pain intensity in CTTH (chronic tension-type headaches),” concluded a study written up in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine this month.

The study randomly assigned 37 people who suffer from tension headaches into two groups. One group received tips and education, and the other group received the same advice and regularly used a sauna for eight weeks.

Body fat: Participants who used saunas saw their body mass index drop by 0.25 to 0.82, with overweight and obese participants losing the most, according to a study published in Scientific World Journal last year.

The 674 study participants were sedentary male and female full-time students ages 19 to 20. They laid in a dry sauna for two sessions of 10 minutes each with a five-minute break.

Body mass index is a measurement of body fat computed using height and weight. Free online BMI calculators from reputable sources like the National Institutes of Health can reveal your BMI and whether it’s considered underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

Wellness: Time in a sauna “raises your heart rate, so it’s like exercise, only in a more passive way,” integrative-medicine practitioner Dr. Luke Fortney says in a press release issued by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Fortney, also an assistant professor of family medicine at the school, prescribes sauna bathing for various reasons.

Detoxification: Sauna-induced sweating detoxifies the body of chemicals from pollutants, offering “hygienic benefits,” as Fortney says. Sauna bathing also releases different toxins than exercise releases.Relaxation: The sweating that happens in a sauna, steam room or hot-room yoga class is more profuse than what people experience during typical exercise, Fortney says. “Exercise is beneficial because of the sweating that happens as a result of moving more vigorously, but sauna therapy is beneficial after exercise to soothe and relax the muscles. Exercise is a form of active internally induced sweating, and sauna is a form of restful externally induced sweating,” he says.

Sauna therapy precautions

For people who are new to sauna therapy, Fortney says to take it easy at first, starting with a lower temperature, drinking enough fluids to avoid becoming lightheaded and not sauna bathing alone.

The write-up of the body mass loss study also noted that people who are more overweight are more prone to dehydration while sauna bathing.

Dr. Rita F. Redberg of the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters that drinking alcohol beforehand is a bad idea.

For people with a high-risk medical history like kidney disease, liver failure or cardiac conditions, Fortney says to speak to your doctor first, as you may not be able to use sauna therapy.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You
Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You

Streaming TV might sound like the antidote to sky-high cable bills, but cutting the cord is easier said than done.

The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

11 Signs That You Chose the Wrong Place to Retire
11 Signs That You Chose the Wrong Place to Retire

Health and happiness in retirement rely on some key factors.

16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need
16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need

You can safely leave these products on the store shelf.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.