Everyone loves the sauna – it’s incredibly relaxing, a place where you can go and sweat all of your cares and worries away. New research is pointing out that the sauna is not only good for your muscles, it’s also may be good for your heart health, particularly for men.
A study from Finland found that men who use saunas frequently are less likely to die from heart disease. Men’s risk was even lower when they visited saunas more often in a week, and when they spent longer periods of time in a sauna each session, the researchers reported. – WebMD.com
Sauna Heart Research
Go ahead and Google “Jacuzzi and heart health,” or “hot tub and heart health” and you’ll not doubt come across hundreds of titles with conflicting information. But here we have a study that cardiologists can use in the fight against heart disease.
For years physicians have been weary about exposing heart patients to the heat of a sauna, or Jacuzzi for that matter. The sauna can place greater demands on the heart, which is obviously a concern for individuals living with cardiovascular conditions.
But in the study, where over 2,300 milddle-aged men from eastern Finland were followed for two decades, frequent sauna use “consistently appeared to lower the risk of death from heart problems.”
- Risk of sudden cardiac death was 22 percent lower after two to three sauna bathing sessions per week and 63 percent lower with four to seven sauna sessions per week.
- Risk of fatal heart disease was 23 percent lower for two to three bathing sessions per week and 48 percent lower for four to seven sauna sessions per week.
- Risk of death from heart disease or stroke was 27 percent lower for two to three saunas a week and 50 percent lower for four to seven saunas a week.
How to use the Sauna
According to the research, the length of time in the sauna as well as the frequency of sauna use directly impacts heart health. Researchers stated that men who visited the sauna two to three times a week had a 24% lower risk of death. Men who visited the sauna four to seven times a week had a 40% risk reduction.
As for the amount of time spent in the sauna, researchers stated that those who stayed in the sauna for more than 19minutes reduced their risk for heart disease by 52%!
Why Saunas Lower Heart Disease Risk
According to researchers, time spent in the sauna is similar to time spent during exercise:
“The authors point out there are a bunch of studies that make sauna look almost like exercise,” Thompson said. “Sauna causes your heart rate to go up, your heart muscle to squeeze more vigorously, and your temperature to increase. It makes some sort of rational sense.”
Researchers also point out how the relaxing affect of a sauna is beneficial:
“We do know that stress reduction and an increase of leisure time, especially engaging with other people, can provide the perfect recipe to decrease cardiovascular disease,” Steinbaum said. “This study reminds us of the critical and crucial benefits to the heart that a little R&R can provide, and perhaps one of the best places to get it is in the sauna.”
Talk To Your Doctor
Of course, as with any new study or heart disease treatment, the best thing that you can do is talk to your doctor. There are so many different kinds of saunas out there, the last thing you want to do is step into the wrong one, sit for too long and put your heart at greater risk for a cardiovascular event.
The saunas used in this Finland study use dry air, with humidity kept between 10% and 20% and the temperature between 176 degrees and 212 degrees. Have a conversation with your doctor to find out of using a sauna will be beneficial for you and your heart condition.
Exercise, Diet, Arginine
Of course, if you do determine that the use of a sauna would be beneficial, that does not mean that you can skimp out on the other aspects to improve heart health. Diet and exercise, as well as kicking the bad habits, still need to implemented. You cannot replace one beneficial strategy with another; you need to utilize them all.
In addition to the sauna, exercise, diet and kicking the bad habits, consider our arginine supplement – Cardio Juvenate. Arginine is an element that has been proven through research to increase vasodilation, or the widening of the arteries, and thus can potentially improve overall blood flow. Arginine has lowered blood pressure and lowered cholesterol levels for many of our clients. We invite you to try it to see if it will work for you!