Into the sauna with high blood pressure?

As a rule, the sauna is not recommended for people with cardiovascular diseases. But recent studies on this topic show that people who suffer from hypertension can use them without health risks.
Into the sauna with high blood pressure

In the sauna with high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Into the sauna with hypertension. High blood pressure has become one of the most common diseases in recent years. Many people who actually feel fine get this diagnosis from their doctor. Often the shock is great when the medical professional utters the word “hypertension”. After all, this inconspicuous disease is one of the most important causes of heart attacks. But how should one deal with it? Is it possible to go on living as before? Well, certainly not. Patients have to rearrange their lives. But they don’t have to give up a relaxing bath in the sauna. In fact, quite the opposite. There are a few rules to follow, but then the pleasure of sweating promotes health.

What is hypertension

To understand why, we must first look at what hypertension actually is. Due to various risk factors, the arteries and coronary arteries have narrowed. The trigger for this is typically a poor diet, but stress and hectic everyday life also promote the occurrence of this disease. Because the vessels are narrower, the heart pumps the blood through the body with more pressure. This in turn causes heart problems. The insidious thing about this disease is that it runs completely without symptoms at the beginning. So patients don’t know they are sick. Treatment often consists of tablets that can lower the pressure.

Training for the vessels

In addition, there are also various gentle methods that are able to support the treatment by the doctor. One of these is regular bathing in the sauna. This is because the alternation between heat and cooler air is a workout for the vessels. In the warm air, the vessels dilate. In the cooler air, they contract again. Similar to a muscle, this expansion and contraction has a training effect on them. If you sweat regularly, they can become more elastic. This clears the way for the blood to flow through the body with less pressure. Hypertension is not cured in this way, but it is alleviated.

Better is the bio sauna for beginners

But be careful: certainly this effect is healthy. But it is also a strain on the cardiovascular system. The warmer the sauna, the more vigorous the movement in the vessels. That’s why beginners should not venture into the Finnish sauna right away. Here, the temperatures are at least 176 °F. Those who start saunas should first allow themselves a few relaxing minutes in the steam sauna or the bio sauna. Here it is not too warm – and the organism has the chance to train gently.

Caution is advised when cooling down

After the sauna session, cooling down is on the agenda. This applies to beginners as well as professionals. In any case, people suffering from high blood pressure should exercise caution. The colder the environment, the faster the vessels contract. If someone jumps into ice-cold water, this process takes place in a flash. This can be dangerous. Therefore, it is better to cool down slowly. There is nothing to be said against a bath in cold water. Only, after sweating, you should slowly get into it – feet first. Because they are very far from the heart. Then step by step get into the pool and enjoy the cooling.

Take time to regenerate

After that, rest is on the agenda. Patients suffering from high blood pressure in particular need a little time between sauna sessions. At least half an hour should be enough to regenerate properly. From a medical point of view, it makes no difference whether the patient is sitting or lying down.

Recommendations for sauna use by people with cardiovascular diseases:

  • For sauna beginners, we recommend staying in a bio-sauna or steam sauna. The temperature should not be so high, 140 °F for beginners and about 176 °F for experienced sauna-goers.
  • When entering the sauna, sit on the lower benches for 2-3 minutes. The body then has some time to get used to the temperature. If it is good for you, then you can sit on the upper benches afterward.
  • Do not overdo it with the stay in the sauna. Short sessions of 5 to 10 minutes are quite enough.
  • After the sauna session, linger in the fresh air for a few minutes.
  • Avoid jumping into cold water or a cold lake at this time. Otherwise, your heart will be working hard and your blood pressure could drop.
  • You should also avoid going to the hot tub, as the water temperature here is usually very high.
  • Take plenty of time to rest. Rest periods should be at least 30-40 minutes after physical exertion.

Other health benefits for a sauna visit

  • For the heart – Researchers have already proven that regular sauna visits reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death by 60%.
  • For the head – It is undisputed that the heat has a relaxing effect on our body. In practice, it has been shown that sauna visits can reduce Alzheimer’s disease.
  • For the lungs – Sweating once or twice a week reduces the risk of infections such as pneumonia by 30%. Likewise, it limits the risks of asthma and chronic bronchitis.
  • For the joints – Sauna can relieve pain and improve your mobility. People who suffer from rheumatism feel a great improvement with regular visits to the sauna.
  • For the skin – skin problems such as acne and pimples can be completely or partially relieved in the sauna.

Are there symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is usually defined as a sustained blood pressure of 140/90 mmHG or above. However, the boundary between normal and elevated blood pressure cannot be precisely defined. It always depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a healthy person is 120/80 mmHg. A normal blood pressure is classified below 130/80 mmHg.

High blood pressure or hypertension rarely has noticeable symptoms. However, if it is not detected, it increases the risk of heart attacks or strokes. One in four adults in Germany has high blood pressure. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. You can have this test done by your family doctor or at the pharmacy. You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.

Risk factors for high blood pressure

  • As you age, your risk for high blood pressure also increases. Half of people, over the age of 75 alone, have the condition.
  • Smoking (nicotine addiction) is doubly dangerous for high blood pressure. Smokers immediately increase it by up to 30 mmHg for several minutes.
  • Stress over a long period of time. This is often caused by mental stress.
  • Increased alcohol consumption, as well as caffeine-based drinks such as coffee or even some teas.
  • If you are overweight or obese. Being overweight forces your heart to work harder to pump blood through your body.
  • Too little exercise. Studies have shown that people who exercise a lot are less likely to develop high blood pressure.
  • Too little sleep or a disrupted sleep schedule. Try to sleep at least 6 hours at a stretch at night.
  • Reduce the amount of salt you eat and avoid fast food and convenience foods. Eat a lot more fruits and vegetables.

Foods that can lower high blood pressure

It is not surprising that the Japanese have the longest life span in the world. One of the reasons is that the balanced diet in Japan significantly reduces strokes caused by high blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it can usually be reversed naturally. A change in lifestyle as well as the consumption of healthy foods can lower blood pressure again. In fact, foods like juice and herbs have been shown to lower blood pressure. We have listed some of the top foods that lower blood pressure in our top list.

  • Blueberries are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids.
  • Oatmeal is the best choice for a high fiber, low fat, low sodium way to lower your blood pressure.
  • Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium and other minerals known to lower blood pressure.
  • Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as juice.
  • Leafy greens are rich in potassium, this helps your kidneys remove more sodium through your urine. This in turn lowers your blood pressure.
  • You can incorporate pistachios into your diet by adding them to pesto sauces and salads.
  • Beets are rich in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
  • Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which can help lower blood pressure.
  • Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa fat and has less sugar than regular chocolate.
  • Garlic reduces high blood pressure by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body.
  • Bananas contain little sodium and are rich in potassium.
  • Fish are a good source of lean protein. Fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood pressure.
  • Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and contains little fat. This is an important element in lowering blood pressure.

You can also reduce your risk of high blood pressure and boost your overall health by eating a healthy diet.


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