Regular sauna sessions keep you fit and healthy
Sweat yourself fit. Taking a sauna will help you get fit. Sure, if you want to run a marathon in the near future, you’ll have to put in some effort. But if all you want is to get through your daily routine a little better, relaxing in the comforting warmth can definitely do a lot for you.
The only condition is that you have to take a sauna regularly. If you only put your nose in the warmth once, it won’t help much. You have to go to the sauna once a week. But that’s not a bad prospect, is it?
Sauna users have more stamina
But now to the facts. Researchers from Australia have recently studied the relationship between sauna visits and endurance. The results surprised even the experienced scientists: test subjects who regularly went to sweat had significantly better endurance. The reason for this advantage was not immediately clear to the scientists – so they examined the blood of the sauna users. They found that there was significantly more blood plasma.
In addition, the blood volume had also increased. These two factors together make the heart’s job so much easier that it is able to do more. You will show significantly more endurance during sports activities. Most importantly, sauna visits allow you to store more oxygen in your body. This enables you to exercise longer in the so-called aerobic zone – and to improve your endurance even more.
Lowering the risk of heart attack thanks to sauna
Finnish researchers have again investigated the question of why sauna-goers demonstrably die less frequently from heart attacks. They have not yet found a reason for this. But the scientists are following a hot lead. It has long been known that regular visits to the sauna exercise blood pressure. As you sweat, your blood vessels dilate – and blood is pumped more slowly through your body.
When you’ve sweated enough, go outside and cool down, the blood vessels contract again – and circulation goes back up. It’s a workout that’s quite healthy for the body. Researchers from Finland suspect that this effect is just as good for the heart, that sauna-goers die less often from heart attacks than other people.
Activating the body’s own killer cells
If you want to feel fit, you also have to be healthy. The heat can help with that, too. Scientists from Germany, more precisely from the Berlin Charité, have looked into this connection. According to them, taking a sauna triggers a kind of artificial fever in the body. This, in turn, activates the body’s own killer cells, which immediately pounce on pathogens of all kinds. Even if you don’t find anything, this use is a workout for the body’s defenses. After all, like everything else in the organism, the immune system atrophies when it is not needed.
In addition, during the sauna session, the amount of immunoglobulin in saliva and nasal mucous secretion increases. This substance makes it harder for pathogens to penetrate through the mucous membranes. The more often you sweat, the more immunoglobulin you have in your body. So you should enjoy the pleasant warmth regularly, especially during the cold season. Thus strengthened, you can then train for your next marathon in peace.
Other positive effects after a visit to the sauna
For your brain:
- Relieves anxiety and depression.
- Helps prevent diseases
- Improves growth of new brain cells
- Improves memory conduction and attention
- Improves meditation and visualization
- Improves brain performance
For your body:
- Strengthens and promotes muscle performance
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces the risk of diabetes and metabolic diseases
- Eliminates some skin problems like acne and pimples
- Causes the natural release of growth hormones
Tip of the editors
However, a warning should be given at this point: In many gyms, it has become fashionable to go to the sauna immediately after a workout. There is nothing wrong with this idea. After all, the heat relaxes the battered muscles – and a sauna session is a relaxing thing in other respects, too. However, you should wait a while before throwing yourself onto the wooden benches.
As good as the comforting warmth is for the heart, it can also be dangerous. After exercise, you are usually still exhausted and your circulation is still running at full speed. The heat now lowers your blood pressure. If it is still too high, you may fall over. So it’s better to wait until your resting pulse rate is close to normal again. Then nothing stands in the way of a relaxing sauna bath.