I used to the gym at least once a week, I would do a little workout but my favourite thing to do by far is using the swimming pool and afterward, the sauna. Swimming is a great exercise for your body especially when you are swimming lengths. It is a form of cardio exercise which has been proven to help you lose weight.
After getting out of the pool, you can quickly feel cold, which is why I head over to the shower first to wash off the chlorine from the pool and then I go into the sauna. A sauna is a great place, that makes me feel really good. Maybe it's something to do with the heat and the endorphins that are released. But it could also be because it is a great place to be sociable. Every time I go in there, there are at least three people and the conversation quickly gets going. Most of the time the conversations are health-related.
Examples of conversations include; how good saunas are for you. How they are good for water retention, essential oils that you can put on the hot coals. As well as some topics revolved around salt and its uses as a detoxifying substance that you can use in baths, caves, skin products, etc. For me, I find it a great way to get new information that is both inspiring helping me be more health-conscious and, expanding my overall general knowledge.
Health Benefits of a sauna
Makes you feel good
Saunas do make us feel good because of the release of endorphins. The heat can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and if you use them at least three times per week, studies suggest that it can help reduce the risks of heart disease by 50%. As well as lower blood pressure, which is incredible.
Increased blood flow and healing
Increasing the blood flow throughout your body can help speed up the healing of wounds and cuts. It seems that gyms that have saunas there were done so on purpose, as they can actually help with the muscle soreness after a long strenuous workout helping you recover faster.
Detoxes the body
They help flush out toxins from our bodies. This is because the hot sauna, in turn, makes us sweat which causes those heavy metals that we are exposed to in our everyday lives to come out. Removing these metals can be extremely beneficial to health and the sauna is said to be one of the best ways to detox your body.
Improves skin health
As well as removing toxins from the body, it can also work wonders on your skin. If you are like me and like to have a swim before, I would highly recommend showering to remove the chlorine from your body before entering the sauna. Mainly because you do not want to open your pores and allow all of that chlorine in.
Improves sleepImproves sleep, overall. After a bath, I can feel deeply relaxed but with a sauna, I feel even more so. When I get home after being at the sauna, I am literally ready for bed, and whilst it usually takes quite a long time for me to doze off, this is not the case. It could be because of the reduction of stress, on our body and mind.
Are saunas safe to use?
There are simply many benefits of using a sauna regularly. Whilst they are considered safe without any dangers to health. If you have any medical condition. You should check with your doctor beforehand, this is because the heat can increase your heartbeat temporarily. To get most of the health benefits. You should not stay in for any longer than the recommended 15 minutes per session.
When using the sauna, you should make sure that you are well hydrated before and after, avoiding any alcohol. Many people say that after a hot sauna you should go for a freezing cold shower. However, this is not safe as it can cause shock and stress to your body. Instead, cool down slowly, The most important thing is that you listen to your body. If the experience is making you feel not right, then feel free to leave.
Frequently asked questions
Sauna vs steam room
The main difference is the type of heat provided. The sauna is typically dry heat from hot rocks whereas a steam room is heated by boiling water. The health benefits of both will be slightly different. For example, a steam room is considered to be good for cardiovascular health leading to improved blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and a healthier heart.
Is a sauna good for the lungs?
Saunas are well known to be able to help improve lung health. The heat from the sauna could improve chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD as well as those who suffer from colds and allergies. However, if you are currently suffering from poor lung health you should speak to your doctor.
How long should you stay in the sauna?
To get some health benefits from the sauna you should stay in for at least 5 minutes but should not stay in for any longer than 15 minutes otherwise your body will overheat and you may become severely dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke. In extreme worst cases spending too much time in the sauna would give you skin burns and could even lead to death. A sauna is for relaxing for a small amount of time. You should also leave if you feel that your body has become too hot.
What is the temperature of a sauna?
Saunas are usually heated between 65°C and 90°C (150°F to 195°F). Many saunas include rocks as part of the heating function that gives off more heat when water is poured onto it which is how someone using the sauna can adjust the heat.