Last Updated on June 8, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
A lot of people have a sauna for the sole purpose of relaxing after a hard day at work. In reality, studies show that the use of these units can lead to a longer life. In fact, the use of a sauna for health and fitness has been a well-researched topic. I wouldn’t mind having one just because it would give me somewhere to go when the children start screaming.
Health and Fitness Through Heated Temperatures
A sauna can do wonders for the body, and I don’t just mean giving you a place to relax. It can also contribute to better health and fitness just by sitting in one of these wood-clad rooms. Here are a few benefits you may not be aware of.
Reducing Blood Pressure
Studies have demonstrated how regular sauna use has been linked to lowering blood pressure. This may be ideal for those who are in hyper-tension or suffer from diabetes. For me, I would suspect my blood pressure to lower simply because of the relaxation factor. Currently, the closest thing I have to a sauna is turning on the hot water in the show and relaxing at the bottom of the tub. Hey, it works.
The heat causes the heart to beat faster. Essentially, it’s like giving your body a workout without actually exercising. This gets the blood flowing and organs oxygenated. In some instances, it has helped people who experience poor circulation to extremities such as those who have diabetes. Enhancing the flow of blood throughout the body can lead to a long list of improvements ranging from mental improvements to metabolism enhancements.
Increasing Calorie Burn for Weight Loss
Circulation of blood isn’t the only thing that’s improved with a faster heart rate. Calorie burn is linked to the beat of your heart. The faster it goes, the more calories you burn. Although the math suggests you could burn in excess of 500 calories within 20 minutes, there is some doubt by experts that such numbers could be reached safely. However, you can’t deny that increasing the heart rate is beneficial for calorie burn and weight loss. This has been proven by a number of scientists and wearable-technology manufacturers.
Healing Certain Types of Wounds
Certain types of wounds can be healed by increasing the flow of blood to the area. Blood carries antibodies and other components used to treat and heal wounds. I’m not saying that a cut will knit instantly when you walk into a sauna. But the increased temperature will enhance blood flow to the wound and help the body heal the damage.
Stress can do an amazing amount of things to health and fitness. It can cause everything from weight gain through cortisol to sleep deprivation. Reducing stress can affect blood pressure, improve heart health and vastly improve your ability to think and reason. This stress reduction is enhanced by greater blood flow to the brain. This could greatly reduce your risk of a heart attack in the future as well.
Heat Therapy for Sore Muscles
Sore muscles are often treated with heating pads or creams. The heat from a sauna has potential to act in the same way. The only real difference is that your whole body experiences the higher temperatures and not just the isolated area. In reality, it could be much better for you in the long run to use a sauna to treat sore muscles as it will offer additional benefits at the same time.
Overall Cardiovascular Improvement
Studies have demonstrated how sauna’s offer an overall cardiovascular improvement. The data suggests that everything from the strength of the heart to the strength of the blood vessels are enhanced by those who visit a sauna at least three or more times per week. It has also been found to reduce the onset of strokes. However, it may not be beneficial for those who have just suffered a heart attack. As the heat will increase your pulse rate, it could be dangerous if you suffer from anything that is affected by a faster heart rhythm.
Practical Reasons to Want a Sauna
I know a lot of people who want a sauna simply to enjoy a relaxing moment throughout their day. I also know of a few who had a sauna and never used it. I don’t know if they understood the health and fitness benefits related to the room, but I doubt it. If you’re unsure if a sauna is a good investment, here are a couple of practical reasons you may want to invest in one.
Health and Fitness Improvements
The first point I am going to bring up, and the most obvious, is the improvement to your overall health and fitness. As I stated earlier, the sauna could be one of the most effective components for losing weight and gaining better overall health. If I had the space and the money, I would put a sauna right next to an outdoor pool. Using these two things in tandem would offer one of the most effective workout routines you could imagine.
Enhancing Property Value and Appeal
Building a sauna onto the property has potential to increase it’s value and curb appeal. Although it may not affect the appraisal value, depending on where you live, it will offer you leverage when asking for a certain price. It can also play into how long the property remains on the market as a selling point and valued attraction.
Last, but not least, it’s all about convenience. If you’re uncomfortable with going down to the Y because you think it’s embarrassing to strip down in front of others, owning your own sauna eliminates those issues. Plus, it’s nice to just come home after a long day of work and jump into the sauna soon after.
If you have the money to put in a sauna, it may be one of the most worthwhile investments for health and fitness. It’s more than just a tool to help you relax when the kids are running through the house. It’s a way to vastly increase your own longevity while achieving a better overall physique. Enjoy the heat and boost the body’s ability to sustain itself.