Many claim that there are extensive health benefits from sauna
bathing. Saunas are supposed to be good for many things such as
losing weight, cleansing the body of toxins, lowering cholesterol,
relieving pain, and clearing the respiratory tract. Many claims may
be exaggerated, but others may have scientific foundations.
There are many weight loss programs that suggest saunas are an
effective way to assist weight loss. Studies point to the fact that
a sauna creates elevated heart rate because the body is working to
cool itself. Some suggest that 300 to 500 calories are burned during
a 30 minute session.
It is a fact that heart rate increases during a sauna; this causes
the body to burn calories. However, it should be noted that during a
normal exercise routine many muscle groups are used while a sauna
uses only the heart muscle.
Toning and building muscles is far more important in weight loss
that heart exertion. If a person wants to lose weight it is
important to follow a daily exercise routine. A sauna will help
relax and rejuvenate the bather after the exercise but will not be
of much help in actual weight loss.
'Saunas rid the body of toxins.' This claim is often made by sauna
manufacturers, retailers and is a common belief among sauna
enthusiasts. There is no scientific evidence that toxins such as
heavy metals (i.e. lead or mercury) or any other type of toxins are
eliminated from the body during sauna use. This type of claim is a
common reference when speaking of Infrared saunas; however there is
no evidence that any type of sauna rids the body of toxins.
This is another claim made by many sauna retailers. They claim that
regular sauna use will reduce cholesterol without any change in diet
or exercise routines. There is no scientific evidence to prove this
Are There Any Real Benefits?
After taking in all of the quackery associated with saunas, some may
be tempted to write off any claims of therapeutic value. However,
there are many excellent benefits of sauna bathing and their use can
be part of a regular health regime.
While using a sauna the heart rate increases and the blood vessels
dilate to allow the increased blood to flow through freely. Blood
flow to the skin increases and heavy perspiration is induced. The
nasal passages open allowing the sinuses to drain.
The heat a bather is exposed to in a sauna has very real health
benefits. Pain and joint stiffness associated with arthritis or
other bone or joint problems can be relieved by a sauna.
The biggest health benefit of a sauna is the relaxation induced.
Modern society is filled with stress, the affects of which are the
root of many health problems. Saunas are relaxing and calming and
provide an ideal way to unwind at the end of the day. A sauna before
bed promotes deep sleep which is necessary for the body to
rejuvenate and recuperate.
Those with health problems should consult their medical practitioner
before using a sauna, but for most the sauna is safe and beneficial
when used in moderation.
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