Saunas for seniors: why it’s never too late to start

Sauna visits are a common form of relaxation that have been shown to have significant positive effects on physical and mental health. Especially in older age, sauna sessions can bring significant health benefits. In this article, we would like to point out the benefits of sauna, especially how it can improve the quality of life of older people.
Sauna bathing in old age: how it can improve the quality of life
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Sauna bathing in old age: how it can improve the quality of life

In Finland, the sauna is a popular social gathering place for all ages. People in their 80s often go to the sauna one or more times a week. This is because the sauna has many benefits for older people. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people over 70 use public saunas.

The fact that people today live longer than their ancestors and remain physically active and mobile into old age also contributes to this fact. This affects people’s leisure time and ultimately leads to better living conditions. However, other benefits such as sociability, entertainment, a change from everyday life and a sense of regularity are sometimes given higher priority than the health benefits, which are particularly important for older people.

Sauna visits as an anti-aging measure for the skin

Sauna visits are an effective anti-aging remedy for the skin. With age, the skin loses elasticity and tone, which can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin. Regular sauna use slows this process and gives the skin a more radiant and youthful appearance.

A crucial factor in the sauna’s anti-aging effect is the high humidity in this environment. The humid air intensely moisturizes the skin, which helps keep it supple and hydrated. This is especially important because skin often loses moisture and becomes dry as we age. The increased hydration in the sauna provides the skin with important nutrients and helps it maintain its natural barrier function.

In addition, the intense heat in the sauna promotes blood circulation to the skin. The blood vessels dilate, which improves blood circulation to the skin. This in turn supports cell regeneration and the skin’s metabolism. Due to the increased metabolism, unwanted components are eliminated more quickly and the absorption of nutrients is improved. The result is revitalized skin that appears firmer and more youthful.

In addition to improving skin health, the sauna also has positive effects on the complexion. Increased blood circulation provides skin cells with more oxygen, resulting in a fresher and healthier appearance.

Of course, a sauna visit alone does not perform miracles when it comes to anti-aging. A holistic skin care routine with proper cleansing, moisturizing and protection from UV rays is also essential. In addition, it is advisable to consider the individual needs of the skin and visit the sauna at appropriate intervals to avoid overheating or dehydration of the skin.

Sauna visits for better health and mobility in old age

Regular sauna visits can help older people improve their health and mobility as they age. Regular exercise of the sweat glands during sauna sessions can increase sweat production. As a result, older people can achieve a higher sweat production of about 30 to 40 grams per minute, which is a significant improvement over the decreased sweating activity in old age.

The sauna also has positive effects on mobility. The hot environment in the sauna helps relieve muscle tension and loosen stiff joints. The heat relaxes muscles and makes joints more flexible, which helps older people maintain mobility and counteract possible limitations caused by the natural aging process.

Sauna visits not only provide physical benefits for the elderly, but can also contribute to a better overall sense of well-being. The warmth and relaxation of the sauna have a calming effect on the body and can relieve stress and tension. In addition, the sauna offers a social component, as it can be a place to meet and share, which is very important for older people.

Sauna visits for strong immune systems and fewer ailments of old age

Sauna visits can not only help improve health and mobility in old age, but also lead to a strengthening of the immune system and a reduction in age-related complaints. During a sauna visit, the skin organ is intensively exercised, which has a positive effect on the blood vessels. This can alleviate circulatory problems and relieve the cardiovascular system.

Another notable benefit of sauna sessions is the strengthening of the immune system. In people of all ages, including the elderly, regular sauna use leads to increased production of immune substances in the body. These defense substances strengthen the immune system and help the body to fight off infections and diseases. Especially for older people, whose immune systems are often weakened, this strengthening of the immune system can make a big difference and reduce susceptibility to infections.

Sauna visits can also have a positive effect on typical ailments of old age. For example, older people who suffer from rheumatism and joint pain can benefit from the beneficial effects of the sauna. The warmth and relaxation during a sauna visit can relieve muscle tension and take pressure off the joints. This can relieve pain and improve mobility, which can significantly improve the quality of life of older people.

Of course, sauna visits are not miracle cures, but should be part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular sauna sessions in combination with a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and adequate rest can help older people strengthen their immune system and reduce age-related complaints. Before beginning a sauna program, or if there are health concerns, a physician should be consulted to ensure that sauna visits are appropriate and tolerable for the individual. However, saunas can make a valuable overall contribution to promoting the health and well-being of older people, helping them to lead active and fulfilling lives.

The calming effect of sauna on the body and mind of seniors

The calming effect of sauna on the body and mind is especially beneficial for seniors. During a sauna visit, the body is exposed to thermal stimulation, which has a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system. This leads to a relaxation of the body and a reduction of stress and tension.

Older people can benefit from this calming effect of the sauna, as they often struggle with age-related problems such as sleep disorders, anxiety or stress. The warmth and comfortable environment of the sauna help to calm the mind and quiet the thoughts. This leads to a better quality of sleep and increases overall well-being.

In addition, the sauna also has positive effects on the psyche of older people. During a sauna visit, endorphins are released, which provide a feeling of renewal and relaxation. This leads to more joie de vivre and a more positive state of mind. Especially for seniors who struggle with mood swings or feelings of loneliness, the sauna is a valuable way to improve their emotional well-being.

A visit to the sauna is also a welcome change from the hectic pace of everyday life. By consciously letting go of stress and worries, seniors can clear their minds and focus on the here and now. This promotes inner peace and serenity, which can have a positive long-term effect on the mental health of older people.

However, everyone experiences the calming effects of the sauna differently. Not everyone likes the heat or tolerates it well. Therefore, you should pay attention to your own body’s reaction and use the sauna appropriately.

Sauna to improve the cardiovascular system in seniors

Studies have shown that regular sauna use can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The reason for this lies in the thermal stimuli that act on the body during a sauna session. The high temperatures increase blood flow, which stimulates the cardiovascular system. In addition, the blood becomes thinner, which in turn can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Another positive effect of sauna on the cardiovascular system is the reduction of blood pressure. During a sauna session, the sweating process drains the body, which can lower blood pressure. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure.

In addition, saunas can help maintain or even improve physical fitness in old age. By stimulating the metabolism, muscles are strengthened and endurance is improved.

When should caution be taken?

If you have cardiovascular disease, vascular or venous disease, or high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor before using a sauna regularly. If you suffer from a respiratory disease such as bronchitis or pneumonia, it is better to avoid the sauna.

As you age, your heart weakens, and you become more susceptible to undetected diseases. Therefore, older people should definitely consult a doctor before going to the sauna. They should pay attention to how their body feels while in the sauna. If they feel sick or dizzy or have an elevated pulse, they should leave the sauna immediately and see a doctor. Elderly people should sit on the lower seats in the sauna because the heat is less intense.

Cool down carefully

Care should be taken when cooling down after a sauna session, especially for the elderly. The abrupt change from the heat in the sauna to the cold can stress the heart, especially in older people with pre-existing conditions. For this reason, it is important to do the cooling down process gently and slowly.

One way to do this is to focus first on the limbs farthest from the heart. For example, start cooling the legs and arms by rinsing them under cold water. This allows the body to gradually lower the temperature without putting too much stress on the heart.

Drink enough fluids

Sufficient fluid intake before and after a sauna visit is especially important for older people. The body loses a significant amount of fluid during saunas due to intense sweating, which increases the risk of dehydration. For this reason, you need to compensate for fluid loss to keep the body healthy and hydrated.

Optimal hydration can be achieved in several ways. One way is to drink water to keep the body hydrated. It is recommended to drink enough water before going to the sauna to be already hydrated. After the sauna session, it is also important to continue drinking water to rehydrate the body.

In addition to water, isotonic drinks can also be a good option to restore the body’s electrolyte balance. Isotonic drinks usually contain electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium that are lost during sweating. This is a great way to restore the body’s fluid and mineral balance.

Alternatively, low-calorie spritzers or mineral water can be a refreshing and hydrating alternative. Spritzers consist of a mixture of fruit juice and water and can quench thirst without loading the body with too many calories. Mineral water is also a good choice, as it contains natural minerals and provides the body with important trace elements.

An important part of sauna: breaks between sauna sessions

One of the most important rules when taking a sauna, especially for older people, is to take enough rest breaks between sauna sessions. These breaks are important so that the body has time to absorb the heat and adjust. They are also for rest and allow the body to replenish depleted energy reserves.

During rest breaks, you should sit down or lie on a couch to relax your body. Breathe deeply in and out to deepen your breathing and relieve tension. Through conscious breathing, you will calm your mind and achieve deep relaxation.

Note: There is no set time for rest breaks, as each person has individual needs. Some people need longer breaks to fully recover, while others feel ready to go back to the sauna after only shorter breaks. Listen to your body and give it the time it needs.

Our conclusion

In conclusion, sauna is a health-promoting activity even at an advanced age, which not only has a positive effect on the skin, but also strengthens the cardiovascular system and supports the immune system. In addition, it can contribute to an improvement in mobility and a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Therefore, it would be advisable to start saunas in old age to benefit from these advantages.


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