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A Sauna Offers More Than Relaxation

Aug 17, 2007
People who have spent time in a sauna know how relaxing and soothing a 10-20 minute session can be. Many of these people look forward to a daily sauna as a way to help get rejuvenated in this fast paced world. Ironically, what most people do not know, though, is how saunas can contribute to their overall wellness. How much easier could it be to improve your health all the while experiencing a feeling of general well being?

Health Benefits of Dry and Steam Saunas

We live in such a fast paced world anymore that the amount of stress and fatigue we put on ourselves can lead to many health problems. A major benefit received from the frequent use of a sauna, whether it is a home sauna or one at the club, is the dramatic reduction of tension and tiredness. Many people feel more relaxed and energized following a sauna bath.

How many times have you experienced stiff, sore muscles the next day after exercising for the first time in awhile? Most people do, but 10-15 minutes in the sauna helps soothes and relaxes those very muscles, making your next workout or exercise session much more enjoyable.

Would you believe a sauna session can increase your heart rate enough to provide the same metabolic result as physical exercise? It may be hard to imagine, but it does. In fact, the increased cardiac load is the equivalent to a brisk walk. Also, as the blood vessels become more flexible, there is increase circulation helping bring important nutrients to the surface of the skin resulting in skin with more elasticity and wrinkle-free complexion. You can again get back some of that rosy look to your skin.

Although sweating is not a favorite function of most people, saunas induce sweating to provide a thorough cleansing of the skin and sweat glands. A whopping 30% of body wastes are passed through the skin. Researchers have found, for example, that the towels smokers use to sit on in saunas turn yellow as the result of the skin removing toxins and impurities. Further evidence of toxin excretions is the accumulated deposits of thick, black tar often found under the benches in saunas when replaced. The reduction of bodily toxins and the artificial fever created by the exposure to the sauna high heat help stimulate the immune system and can result in fewer colds and illnesses.

Many people start out enjoying the sauna dry, but soon find that the addition of a small amount of water to the heated rocks can provide excellent treatment for many respiratory problems. A steam sauna is produced by pouring a small amount of water over the rocks, thus creating moist air that can relieve throat irritations, loosen secretions from the throat and lungs, giving relief to sufferers of bronchitis and sinusitis.

There are many benefits to using a sauna, but just a few words of caution. A person need not stay in longer than 30 minutes to achieve optimum results. Staying in too long can increase the risk of fainting from overheating. People most susceptible to this are those with heart disease or anyone who has drugs or alcohol in their system. Also, children should never use a sauna without supervision.

The next time you use a sauna think about all the health benefits you probably had not imagined before.
About the Author
Mark Washburn is a freelance writer with experience about saunas and other health related topics on
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