Thousands of years ago, people in northern Europe survived cold winters by pouring water over heated rocks in a small enclosed space. This tradition led to the creation of bathhouses all over Europe and the very first sauna.
Today, saunas and steam rooms have become a natural way to relax and treat a range of medical conditions. The great news is that saunas are now more accessible than ever and can be built into your very own bathroom, laundry, or backyard area.
1. Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
A Journal of Human Hypertension study showed that men and women’s heart rates increased to a level comparable to medium-intensity exercise like cycling or jogging. You shouldn’t forego regular exercise, but regular sauna sessions might give your heart extra exercise.
That partly explains why research from Finland found that sauna use helps reduce the risk of early death from heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
2. Lower Cholesterol
One study published in the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health found that people decreased their total cholesterol levels when they used a sauna every other day for 20 days.
3. Better workout recovery
A scientific study found that both traditional steam saunas and infrared saunas decreased DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) and improved exercise recovery. The researchers suggest that infrared saunas penetrate the neuromuscular system to promote recovery.
A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics also found that sitting in a sauna for 30 minutes increases women’s levels of human growth hormone, which helps break down fats and build muscle.
4. Maintain your memory
According to research published in Age and Ageing, men who sat in a sauna multiple times per week had a 65% lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than those who used them only once a week. Researchers say this could be connected to increased blood flow to the brain because research has previously linked decreased blood flow to the brain with cognitive decline and dementia.
To get the brain boost, the study suggests that sauna sessions should become a regular habit.
5. Support your Mental Health
For many people, saunas provide a relaxing escape due to their warmth, quiet and enclosed environment. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine even found that daily sauna sessions improved ratings of relaxation in patients with depression.
Precautions for sauna use from Harvard Health Medical School
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may impair sweating and produce overheating before and after your sauna.
- Stay in no more than 15–20 minutes.
- Cool down gradually afterward.
- Drink two to four glasses of cool water after each sauna.
- Don’t take a sauna when you are ill, and if you feel unwell during your sauna, head for the door.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
Inside, outdoor, sauna or a steam rooms?
There are a variety of options to meet your health and home needs, including dry saunas, infra-red saunas, and steam showers that can be embedded in your existing home or built outdoors. Read more about what sauna is right for you here…
As qualified builders and renovating experts, All City can talk you through the latest design options and build the perfect wellness area to suit your needs. Call All City on 03 9571 7000 or email today to book a free consultation with Craig or Steve.
In-person showroom consultations are being offered with social distancing guidelines observed. Alternatively, you can speak with our team via phone or video call.
Daphne, Craig, and Steve on behalf of the All City Team