Study shows why sauna is good for heart and circulation
A regular visit to the sauna is said to strengthen both our heart and our immune system – that this is actually the case and not just assumed has been proven by a comparative analysis of a long-term Finnish study. It has shown that with the frequency of visits to the sauna, the risk of cardiovascular disease should be significantly reduced. The study also determined which duration of sauna visits had the best effect on heart health.
Sauna visits: More than just beneficial for body and mind
Especially in the cold months of the year, many people look forward to a warm visit to the sauna. That this does not only mean Wellness, but can be above all positive for heart and cycle, can be proven now on the basis of evaluations of a long-term study from Finland.
Strokes, heart attacks, aortic aneurysms and heart failure are still among the most common diseases of our cardiovascular system – often resulting in death. A much lower risk of dying from such a disease has, however, according to researchers, people who often allow themselves a visit to the sauna. This finding was obtained by physicians at the University of Eastern Finland using analyses of information from the Finnish KIHD study.
It has evaluated, since the early 1980s, information from nearly 1,700 men and women between 54 and 75 years. The research team was also able to prove that a regular trip to the sauna can also significantly reduce the risk of stroke.
Good for heart health: regular sauna visits pay off
Within an observation period of 15 years, about 180 participants died of cardiovascular diseases. During the study, a clear correlation could be seen for the duration and frequency of sauna visits: Participants who took between four and seven sauna visits per week reduced their risk of disease by a full 70%. People who visited the sauna two to three times a week still reduced their risk by almost 30%.
The duration of sauna use was also included in the analysis. It was found that Those who spend more than 45 minutes a week in the sauna have the lowest risk of disease. In addition, according to various scientific studies, taking a sauna strengthens our immune system and our defenses, and at the same time relaxes our muscles. However, in order to ensure that a sauna session has a positive effect on our health, there are a few things to keep in mind – we will explain them below.
Tips for a healthy visit to the sauna
It is important to plan enough time for the visit to the sauna. For the entire visit with a few treatments and a cool-down phase, about two hours should be planned – after all, it should be a relaxing experience for body and mind. If you rush, you strain your organism rather than support it.
Start with a mild temperature of 50 to 60 °C (122 to 140 °F) and allow yourself enough breaks between sauna sessions. The following applies here: Always listen to your body – if you do not feel well, you should stop visiting the sauna and take a rest. Experts recommend sauna visits of no more than 15 minutes. Lie down first and spend the last two minutes sitting down so that your circulation is stimulated again.
After your visit to the sauna, allow yourself a few minutes in the fresh air, as the body relies on oxygen. Afterward, a cool shower provides refreshment, which additionally stimulates circulation and blood flow.
After the cold shower, a foot bath will help to restore some warmth to the body and get it to equalize temperatures. After the shower, plan on resting for about 20 minutes before getting back to your daily routine.
Be careful with cardiovascular diseases and circulatory problems
If you already suffer from cardiovascular problems, you should first contact an internist before visiting the sauna. This person can better judge whether a visit to the sauna is useful for the body or not. Also, if you have problems with your circulation, it is better to follow some rules in order not to put additional stress on your body.
This means, if possible, not to visit the sauna with a full stomach – in return, however, one should not have an empty stomach either, but at least have eaten something. Also, should be avoided further loads for the cycle, which for example the typically Finnish Quästen, with which one taps oneself with birch tufts. People with low blood pressure should take extra time to take a cool shower after visiting the sauna.
Conclusion: Those who listen to their body benefit from a visit to the sauna
The fact that a visit to the sauna has a positive effect on our heart as well as on our lifespan has been confirmed by numerous studies and analyses in recent years. It is therefore important, especially at an advanced age, to take time to sweat. Not only does it help our body to remove toxins, but it also stimulates the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as blood circulation.