The Benefits of a Sauna Session


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Traditional sauna

This is the typical interior of saunas found at your local gym.

Many of you have likely heard that sitting in the sauna for as long as you can reasonably stand it, but for even 5-10 minutes, confers noticeable health benefits. How does a sauna work to provide you with those benefits?  Keep reading to find out.

Heart rate

When you sit in the sauna, the high temperature, which can reach over 180 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 degrees Celsius, causes your heart rate to speed up. Your heart rate, aka your pulse, can increase rapidly by more than 30% in 5 -10 minutes. This rate increase can almost double the flow of blood pumping through your heart! This is why you will always see warnings regarding heart disease outside of all public saunas in the U.S.

Perspiration’s Purpose

This increased circulation of blood flow goes to your skin, away from your internal organs. As your body begins to sweat to cool your body down and more blood flows to your skin, the existing toxins in your skin exit your body through your sweat. That’s the purpose of perspiration: to cool your body and get rid of waste products.

Your Skin

Your blood always remains slightly alkaline, so your body continuously pushes toxins out of your bloodstream into your organs, muscular tissue, nerves and bones. In addition to being the barrier to the external world, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Therefore, your skin often absorbs a high percentage of external and internal toxins. Pushing toxins out of your body through significant sweating in the sauna clears the path for even more toxins to exit your body each time you sit in the sauna.

Preferences and Warnings

I love to have the sauna at its hottest (180 – 185 degrees Fahrenheit). I can now sit on the top bench of the sauna for 45 – 60 minutes at this heat with only a limited break to refill my 24 oz. water bottle. However, this is what I can do. You may only be able to stand the sauna’s lowest bench at 160 degrees. If you feel faint, leave immediately. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after a sauna session as you could potentially sweat out so much water, you can significantly dehydrate yourself if you do not replace that water!

Video

Here is a very brief video of me during one sauna session.

What has your sauna experience been?

References:

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