Is the sauna REALLY helping you?
Benefits of the sauna in your daily life
1) Recovery of Hard-Worked Muscles
Feeling like you just got hit by a ten pound mallet? Makes sense. After a work-out, muscles will be fatigued and in need of repair. The sauna is a great way to relax over-worked muscles, and provide them with the rest they demand. This is why saunas are often found in gym and workout spaces. According to Clearlight Infrared Saunas, "Using a sauna enhances the muscle recovery process by increasing blood circulation and carrying oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscle." During a workout, the muscles begin to accumulate many micro-tears, and by bringing oxygen and blood to the muscles, they will begin to repair faster. The sauna will also relax and release tension built up from frequent exercise.
2) Calorie Burning Capabilities
In a study by Binghampton University, repeat usage of the sauna showed an increase in fat-burning capabilities as well as other health outcomes. Depending on how often and when the sauna was used, results fluctuated.
"Participants who had high compliance (used the sauna regularly) had a greater loss in body fat. Participants measured up to a 4% drop in body fat over the four months. However, interestingly, those that came in late in the day or evening lost significantly more body fat than those using the sauna in the morning. The change in body fat was confirmed by measurements of serum glucose levels." -Kenneth McLeod, professor of bioengineering at Binghamton University
3) Flushes Toxins
Being in the sauna induces a heavy sweat, which will function to release the collections of mercury, iron, zinc, nickel, and other toxins that our body comes into contact with throughout the day.
"The average person will lose a pint of sweat during a brief sauna. However, it evaporates so quickly in the dry air that a person may not realize how much he is perspiring" from Harvard Men's Health Watch.
It is important to note that while toxins from our bodies are legitimately being released in sweat from the raised temperature in the sauna, there are some discrepancies surrounding the actual percentage of toxins being released from the body. Most of the sweat detox claims are over-exaggerated and not based upon proven scientific research. The percentage of toxins able to be removed through sweating found by National Geographic was up to 0.04 percent of the average daily intake of pollutant. So, while sweating does help to remove toxins, there are better ways of getting it out of your system.
4) Helps with Sinus Problems
Many people suffer from chronic sinus problems, which can include a runny nose, pressure headaches, or congestion. One way to alleviate some of these symptoms would be by visiting the sauna a couple times a week! Think about it, fever is our body's way of raising the internal temperature in order to kill off bacteria and viruses. The sauna has temperatures inside ranging from 160-190 degrees Fahrenheit, which will in turn raise your internal body temperature. The raised temperature will function as an artificial fever and help your body to fight disease from the inside out. The steam will also open up your respiratory system which will help with breathing problems!
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