German medical research has shown that saunas can help to significantly reduce the amount of colds and illnesses that we suffer. The heat of a sauna can help to produce more white blood cells in the body, helping us to kill viruses and fight infection. The steam from a sauna can also help to clear sinus congestion due to colds and allergies, whilst the heat from a sauna and increase in body temperature dilates the body’s blood vessels, helping to increase blood circulation and speed up your own natural healing process. This is especially helpful after taking part in any form of physical sport or exercise, as the heat from a sauna will relax your muscles, releasing any muscle tension and eliminating any lactic acid or other toxins in the body.
The cardiovascular benefits of infrared saunas can also be felt. As the heat makes our body temperature rise and our blood vessels dilate, our heart rate rapidly increases too. Studies have shown that our heart rates can increase from 60-70 beats per minute to 110-120 beats per minute while in a sauna, followed by a drop to below normal after we have cooled down. Using an infrared sauna regularly can help to improve our heart rate, and therefore our heart muscles, helping to improve our own natural regulatory system. By rapidly changing your body temperature, such as when having multiple sauna sessions with cold showers in between, your heart rate can increase by up to 60%, which can be similar to that experienced when exercising.
The combined increase in heart rate and body temperature can help to release endorphins in your body, which are your own natural feel-good chemicals that are often released during exercise, when having sex, or when eating spicy foods. They can also be released whenever we feel stress, pain or fear. They can block pain, but they can also provide us with feelings of great pleasure. Many sauna users find that they experience a positive feeling similar to the post workout feeling following an exercise session in the gym. As the body cools, the refreshing feeling of relaxation can lead to a release of endorphins, which can also help to promote a more positive sense of well being.
Using a sauna not only makes you feel good, but it is great for your body and mind. Psychologically, spending time in a calming, relaxing environment can have a great positive impact on our mind. In addition to this, our bodies can benefit from increased blood circulation, an improved heart rate, healthier, more relaxed muscles, less toxins, a better internal regulatory system, and a stronger natural immune system. There are so many benefits of having a sauna, both physically and mentally, so much so that we can’t recommend them enough.
A sauna feels great and can be a wonderful retreat where we can restore and relax our bodies and souls. Being able to get away from it all once in a while can have many benefits to our health and well being.