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6 Surprising Health Facts About Sauna Usage

6 surprising health facts about using a sauna - and why you should use one at least four times a week


Using a sauna can relax you. You can also train your heart, prevent serious mental problems and improve the quality of your life. 

The first well-known scientific study by the Swedish doctor, Anton R. Martin in 1765, on sauna usage found incredible health effects. The conclusion was: it causes eyelashes to grow in and stretch an inch of the human body.

The findings of Martin's research have since been overturned, but scientific research on its health effects is strong, especially in Finland. As a result of the well-being trend of recent years, the sauna has become an area of ​​interest to the scientific community worldwide.

- In studies, the temperature of the sauna has been on average between 70 and 80 degrees. And you also have to remember to drink.


1. Mental health and memory

The brain commends the hard-working steamer. Regular bathing has a deterrent effect even on serious mental problems.

"Men who bathe four to seven times a week are up to 78 percent less likely to experience psychotic symptoms than bathing once a week," Laukkanen says.

A study found memory also seemed to benefit from sauna usage which followed middle-aged Finnish men for about 20 years.

"The risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease was reduced by up to 66 percent more often in sauna baths," Laukkanen says.

The exact effects of bathing on the brain are still partly obscured.

"It is not known whether it is due to a specific physical effect or, for example, to the fact that an enjoyable activity otherwise only prevents or delays the development of memory disorders," Laukkanen explains.

 Heart drawn in sand

2. Workout for the heart

Sauna use is good for the heart. It increases heart rate variability and enhances heart function.

The heart rate can increase to 120–150 beats/min during bathing and corresponds to low to moderate endurance exercise in circulatory load, Laukkanen says.

Bathing causes the blood to circulate more efficiently and improves the flexibility of the blood vessels. It is also known to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

According to studies, fewer sauna wolves have fewer cerebral infarctions, Laukkanen says.

Regular sauna goers are less likely to pass away from cardiovascular disease than to rarely bathe.

In 4-7 weeks, the risk for sauna bathers was the lowest compared to those who bathed less frequently, Laukkanen says.

3. Relieve muscle pain

After a workout head to the sauna. The relaxing warmth of the sauna can relieve muscle pain and tension.

In some cases, a sauna has been known to help relieve headaches, rheumatic pain and pain syndrome in fibromyalgia.

"However, caution should be exercised in these cases, as sometimes heat can aggravate pain," Laukkanen points out.

Heat can provide relief from muscle pain.

Man with muscle pain

4. Boost resistance

If you want to keep your flu at bay, not only will vitamins and hand washing help but also enjoying a sauna can be fun.

More often, sauna users have fewer flu symptoms and their inflammatory symptoms are slightly lower, Laukkanen says.

"There is also a lower incidence of pneumonia, such as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and even asthma among bathers," he continues.

It is not yet clear whether using a sauna by yourself is the cause of increased resistance or whether it is influenced by other lifestyles. According to Laukkanen, more research is needed.

5. Help with skin problems

Contrary to what one might believe, it is known using a sauna does not dry out the skin, but improves the barrier to the skin so the bather's skin does not dry out.

So far, there is no clear evidence the use of a sauna helps with skin problems, but it seems using one is good for the skin.

Eg, psoriatics have received great benefits from using their sauna to help with their skin problems, Laukkanen says.

woman with skin problems

6. Vitality and joy of life

"Scientifically, it is difficult to verify relaxation, but as heart rate increases, it indirectly indicates that the functioning of the autonomic nervous system of the heart improves and the body relaxes," Laukkanen says.

"Relaxation can be a very significant factor behind many of the health effects of bathing," he says.

The quality of life you can experience may also improve if you regularly use a sauna. However, Laukkanen points out it is not certain whether this is the cause or the effect.

couple kissing baby

Saunas are suitable for almost everyone

There are few obstacles to using a sauna. Usually, the chronically ill can make use of a sauna, as long as their illness is well treated. Sometimes, however, these obstacles can include severe heart valve failure, low blood pressure, unstable chest pain, or other serious illness, Laukkanen says.

If you are unsure about the suitability of using a sauna for yourself and any illness, you should seek medical advice.