Taking a sauna is a worthwhile investment in one’s wellbeing in the short as well as the long term. Sauna bathing can be even more rewarding when aligned with one’s own preferences and personal lifestyle. This can be achieved for instance by a habit of having a sauna after exercise or by integrating different kinds of treatments into the experience.

Boost Your Excercise

Letting the glow of the sauna heater relax the whole body is an excellent way of ending a workout. Strained or otherwise sore muscles are quickly soothed, and the gentle heat is also good for stretching.

Sauna ensures good recovery that is essential to boost performance, but the surprising benefits it provides especially for athletes don’t stop there. Biomedical expert Rhonda Patrick talks about so-called hyperthermic conditioning, in which the body’s adjustment to high temperatures increases blood plasma volume and intensifies blood flow. Simply enjoying the heat can thus enhance endurance, and by activating growth hormone can even increase muscle mass.1

The hot room itself can be made into an environment for movement. Sauna yoga and sauna pilates are activities developed in Finland, bringing the techniques of yoga and pilates into a temperature that is milder than an average sauna yet still enough to make the body flexible, including every joint. This way, even the most stubborn troubles of the body and mind can be eased.

Enhance recovery

The Finnish sauna experience often involves alternating between hot and cold. Some say that ice swimming is another good way to enhance recovery after exercise. Throwing yourself into an icy lake or shower is always bracing, but particularly so when combined with the sauna. The nervous system reacts to the cold by producing more of the chemical messenger norepinephrine, which alleviates pain. Repeated cold therapy can also strengthen the immune system.2

Sauna is also compatible with other wellbeing methods. Salt therapy is good for the respiratory organs and the skin. Organic, clean and purgative peat has been found to treat the skin as well as the inside of the body through absorption. According to peat geologist Riitta Korhonen, there is evidence that the humic acid found in peat has has various beneficial effects, including an invigorating effect on circulation and the rest of the body, and it also contributes to excretion by removing metabolic waste.3 A Finnish study conducted by Korhonen and gynecologist specialist Leena Larva suggests that peat treatments in a sauna can ease the side effects of menopause.4 Larva also considers the peat sauna an efficient way of relieving the psyche of stress.5

Having a sauna is a very skin-friendly process, even without additional activities. Every sauna visit energizes surface blood flow and humidifies the skin momentarily. Moreover, according to a study presented in the journal Dermatology, regular sauna sessions protect the skin by balancing its pH and improving its water-holding capacity.6 Moreover, some have seen relief in their skin diseases after spending time in the sauna. These effects support the enduring claim that sauna bathing makes you more beautiful!

Sources

  1. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/24/sauna-benefits.aspx
  2. https://saunafromfinland.com/sauna-articles/cold-therapy-many-health-benefits/
  3. https://www.aarrelehti.fi/jutut/artikkeli-1.219587 (in Finnish)
  4. http://www.suo.fi/pdf/article9879.pdf
  5. https://saunafromfinland.com/sauna-articles/virtual-stress-makes-people-ill-a-peat-sauna-could-be-the-solution/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18525205

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