What are the benefits of sauna bathing?
Sauna bathing is more than just a relaxing luxury - a growing body of research shows that it may confer many health benefits as well. For a brief overview on the subject, take a look at these highlights from a journal article available from Mayo Clinic
- Beyond pleasure and relaxation, emerging evidence suggests that sauna bathing has several health benefits, which include reduction in the risk of vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and neurocognitive diseases; nonvascular conditions such as pulmonary diseases including common flu; mortality; treatment of specific skin conditions; as well as pain in conditions such as rheumatic diseases and headache.
- The physiological responses produced by an ordinary sauna bath correspond to those produced by moderate- or high-intensity physical activity such as walking.
- Sauna bathing is a safe activity and can even be used in patients with stable cardiovascular disease, provided it is used sensibly for an appropriate period of time.
While the cardiovascular benefits of sauna bathing are possibly widely known at this point, an important and perhaps surprising discovery of the research discussed in the journal is that sauna bathing may reduce your risk of Alzheimer disease and dementia - in the study discussed, frequent sauna bathers had a substantially reduced risk of these diseases.
You should consult with a doctor before you begin using a sauna if you have pre-existing illness, medical conditions or are using medication. Please see the manual for more safety information.
1Laukkanen, Laukkanen, and Kunutsor (2018). Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence, Mayo Clinic Volume 93, ISSUE 8, P1111-1121. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.04.008