Why do Finns live longer?

According to a Finnish study, women and men over the age of 50 are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease if they visit the sauna several times a week. The reason for this is most likely the positive effects of heat on heart rate as well as blood pressure.

Living longer thanks to regular sauna visits

It is clear that regular visits to the sauna not only strengthen the immune system and relax the body, but also contribute to a lasting strengthening of the heart. A Finnish study also shows this: according to the results, men who visit a sauna more than two to three times a week have a 22% lower risk of suffering a heart attack. If they visit the sauna between four and seven times a week, the risk is reduced by as much as 63%.

For the study carried out, scientists of the University of Eastern Finland examined more than 2,300 men at the age between 40 and 60 years. This is because the tradition of sauna bathing is still very widespread, particularly in eastern Finland. The men, who visited the sauna with varying frequency, were examined over a period of several years as part of the study.

Sauna use also protects against other diseases

But the study carried out also brought other valuable findings: the risk of dying from other diseases was reduced by about 24% for the group that visited the sauna between two and three times a week. For the group that visited the sauna between four and seven times a week, the risk was reduced by as much as 40%. According to the researchers, it is also advantageous to spend more than 20 minutes in the sauna rather than just ten or twelve minutes – the health benefits are then significantly greater.

Even though it has not yet been scientifically determined why men who frequently visit the sauna have a higher life expectancy on average, they certainly made good use of the time. So it’s not only beneficial for Finns to make time for a visit to the sauna every now and then: If you want to treat yourself to relaxation, rid your body of toxins and waste products, and strengthen your immune system, regular visits to the sauna are definitely a good idea.

What to consider for heart problems and high blood pressure

Regular sweating is extremely healthy for a healthy body, but people with cardiovascular problems should be careful. If you have heart problems, suffer from high blood pressure or have already had a stroke, it is essential to consult a doctor beforehand. If the doctor has no objections, there is nothing to be said against a visit to the sauna.

However, a few rules should be observed. For this reason, experts recommend that you only visit sauna cabins that do not exceed a temperature of 140 °F. If you are not sure, ask your doctor beforehand. If you are not sure, it is best to ask the operator of the sauna what temperatures are reached during the infusions. As a rule, the bio-sauna is somewhat cooler than others – if in doubt, listen to your body and either shorten your visit or do without it altogether. It is also advisable to sit rather than lie down in the sauna. In this way, the return flow of blood to the heart can be better regulated.

What are the benefits of sauna for our health

There is no question that a visit to the sauna is healthy: the constant change in temperature between hot, dry air and a subsequent cooling down in a plunge pool or outdoors has an intense, stimulating effect on our body. This stimulates all organs, the metabolism works at full speed and our defenses are also strengthened in the long term.

Our immune system is strengthened

When we visit the sauna, our body temperature increases after a short time. On the skin it can be up to 50 °F, while inside our body it rises to a maximum of 102,2 °F. This way, our immune system is encouraged to work at full speed. In this way, our immune system is stimulated to develop defensive substances. If you visit the sauna regularly, you can even prevent infections. However, if you already have a cold, you should avoid the sauna until the symptoms have subsided.

The complexion is improved

However, saunas can not only protect against flu and other infections: Also skin diseases such as psoriasis can be treated by healthy sweating. Those who suffer from neurodermatitis or hives often benefit from a sauna visit. In addition, anti-inflammatory effects are achieved in rheumatic diseases. In no case, however, should the sauna be visited during a rheumatic attack.

High blood pressure can be alleviated

If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is best to consult your doctor first, as the heat can also put a strain on your circulation. The heat causes our heart to beat faster and blood circulation to run at full speed – which can be rather unhealthy for some patients. The most important thing is to listen to your body and not stress it. Then you can be sure that a visit to the sauna will be beneficial for your body and mind.


David Brunner