Sauna: The Ultimate Fitness & Health Hack?

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Public Access | 0 comments

Over the last two years I’ve used the sauna to great advantage, leveraging its unique benefits to improve my health, fitness, recovery and mindset. Now, I take a deep dive into the literature and give you the low down on what I believe to be the single greatest health habit outside of exercise!

What Is Sauna bathing?

Sauna bathing has a long history dating back to ancient cultures, where it was used for both physical and spiritual purification. Today, sauna culture is popular worldwide, with both traditional and modern styles of saunas available for personal and communal use.

The Benefits of Sauna

Sauna use has been linked to a variety of physiological benefits, including the production of heat shock proteins, improved fitness and recovery, and a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. The key to reaping these benefits is regular use, with experts recommending 4-7 sauna sessions per week for 20-30 minutes each.

Heat Shock Proteins (HSP)

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a group of proteins that are activated in response to stress, such as exposure to high temperatures. These proteins play a critical role in protecting cells from damage, and research has shown that sauna use can increase the production of HSPs in the body. This can have a positive impact on overall health and fitness, as HSPs help to repair damaged cells and promote recovery from exercise.

Fitness & Recovery

One of the most notable benefits of sauna use is its ability to improve fitness by mimicking the effects of cardiovascular exercise on the heart. The heat stress of the sauna causes the heart to work harder to cool the body, which can improve cardiovascular fitness over time. This is why regular sauna use can be an effective addition to a fitness routine, especially when combined with regular exercise.

In addition to improved fitness, regular sauna sessions can increase blood flow to the muscles, which can help to remove waste products and bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells. This can help to promote recovery from exercise.

Cardiovascular Disease & Dementia Risk

Another significant benefit of sauna use is its potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. Studies have shown that regular sauna use can lower blood pressure and improve heart health, while also reducing the risk of dementia. This is likely due to the combination of heat exposure and increased HSP production, which can help to protect the brain and cardiovascular system from damage by scavenging the Amyloid Beta Plaque.

Summary

In summary, the Sauna is amazing but should not be in-place of regular exercise but more additive. To enjoy these benefits, it is recommended to use sauna 4-7 times per week for 20-30 minutes each session. This will not only improve your overall health but will also help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote relaxation.

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