Sweating in a sauna can be an enjoyable activity, with many benefits that improve both health and appearance. Reduction of colds and flu, release of bodily toxins, improved circulation, skin cleansing, relaxation and weight loss are among the many benefits of sweating in a sauna. When you sit in a hot sauna, the surface temperature of your body rises. This increase in heat leads to dilation of blood vessels and increased circulation in the skin. With increased blood flow, the heart beats faster to sustain blood pressure at normal levels. If you sit in a sauna for an hour, your body will produce nearly a quart of sweat. Here's a closer look at the benefits of sweating in the sauna.
1. Reduced Colds and Flu
One German study found that sitting in a sauna twice a week led to half as many colds as found in those who did not sit in a sauna. It is theorized that the high heat levels found in a sauna combat flu and cold viruses, killing them off altogether.
2. Body Detoxification
On a daily basis, the human body is exposed to a large number of chemicals and toxins. Depending on where you live, what you eat and other aspects of your lifestyle, your body may be harboring chemicals and toxins. These substances lodge themselves in the organs and circulate in the blood. Although the liver and kidneys work to relieve the body of toxins, in extreme cases and over time, toxins build up in human tissues, interfering with health.
When you perspire, your body eliminates toxins along with water and salt. Regular sauna practice aids tremendously in ridding the body of the unwanted chemicals that most people are exposed to on a regular basis.
3. Improved Circulation
People with heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions often suffer from poor circulation. Improved circulation leads to greater absorption of vitamins, more energy, faster wound healing and mental alertness. Regular sauna activity contributes to increased blood flow and improved circulation.
4. Skin Cleansing
For individuals dealing with acne or clogged pores, sitting in a sauna has been shown to make a difference. Blemishes and acne are often a result of toxins and imbalances in the body. The heat and steam of a sauna work together to open up the pores and to release a buildup of toxins.
5. Weight Loss Benefits
Sweating in a sauna leads to temporary weight loss. This is water weight that is quickly replaced. However, sauna usage is thought to accelerate metabolism and lead to the breakdown of fat and cellulite. While it cannot be relied upon as a sole method for losing weight, sauna use is generally a harmless addition to a weight loss regimen.
Most people can attest to the relaxing effects of sitting in a sauna. It is an image associated with health spas and resorts. Sauna usage is associated with feelings of peace, relaxation and improved sleep. It helps to warm and relax the muscles, and eases aches and pains.