Treat Yourself: The 7 Surprising Benefits of Regularly Using Dry Finnish Saunas

Here in the States, the sauna is one of the most underused facilities at the gym, while in Finland, they are a staple – a way of life. At Canyon River Spa and Salon in Bozeman, Montana, we’re inspired by the way Finns enjoy a sauna at least once a week, or even daily.   

Increasingly, research is demonstrating that saunas are more than just a great way to relax. In fact, according to such studies, taken regularly, saunas can transform your health, and the more often you use them, the better it gets.

Here are a few of the key benefits of using a dry sauna:

·      They can improve heart function

A host of studies have shown a strong trend of increased coronary health in frequent sauna users. One long-term study conducted in Finland looked at the health outcomes of a group of men after a twenty-year period. There was a clear association between sauna use and the decreased likelihood of both a heart attack and heart disease. The suggestion is that regular exposure to high temperatures strengthens blood vessel dilation, reduces arterial stiffness and lowers systemic blood pressure.

·      They lower the risk of stroke

Research has also demonstrated a link between using a sauna once a week and a decreased chance of suffering from a stroke – as much as 61 percent. This finding was still evident when the scientists controlled for other risk factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle.

·      They aid weight loss

While saunas do not directly burn fat or kill fat cells, a recent study conducted in Germany showed that one 25-minute session is the equivalent of riding a stationary bike at moderate intensity. The heart rate and blood pressure of the participants increased while in the sauna and then dropped below their baseline levels afterward. Basically, the heat from the sauna places stress on the heart in the same way as exercise does.

·      They support better mental health

Similarly to exercising, saunas can increase levels of endorphins – the happy hormone, as well as opioids – the body’s natural pain reliever, both of which can make you feel happier and healthier. In addition to this, time in the sauna can result in both body and mind relaxation, which helps to counter the harmful effects that stress can have on the body such as elevated blood pressure and reduced immune system response.

·      They boost your immune system

In addition to countering the suppressive effects of stress on the immune system, using saunas could actually give it a bit of a hike. Research conducted in Poland demonstrated how a single 15-minute session could raise white blood cell, lymphocyte, neutrophil, and basophil counts. These are all essential for effective immune system functioning. This little jumpstart to the system could be particularly beneficial during cold and flu season.

·      They help keep your skin healthy

When eliminating excess heat from the body, blood flow is increased to the skin. This means that more nutrients are getting delivered there, allowing for a healthier-feeling, rosy-glow appearance.

Furthermore, sweating opens up your pores, helping impurities and toxins to be removed from the skin, resulting in fewer outbreaks. A German study discovered that regular sauna user’s skin better retained essential moisture and also maintained a healthier skin pH level.

·      They are a great way to socialize

The Finnish use sauna time to hang out with their family and friends, catching up on news and just generally enjoying each other’s company. The benefits of socializing are already well-documented—so book yourself a spa day at the best spa in Bozeman, Montana and experience the benefits yourself!

 

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