When was the last time you visited a sauna and stepped right out before getting too "steamed up"? Well, you might need to rethink that, because apparently, these hot rooms can do some great things to your mind and body. With their origins based in Nordic countries, saunas are nowadays well-immersed in numerous cultures around the world, starting with Finland, where a lot of importance is given to their special health benefits. Let's take a look at some of them here.
1. They rid you of toxins
Saunas are an effective way to flush out toxins from your body. When faced with the intense high temperatures inside the room, your body will sweat extensively, releasing unwanted chemicals that your body might have absorbed in several ways, along with the sweat. This also happens when you sweat from exercise, but saunas offer a much more relaxing way of doing it.
2. They help you lose weight
Just like sweating, sauna therapy shares another mutual benefit with doing physical exercise, and that's burning calories. While you're enjoying your sauna session, your heart rate increases due to the dry heat and your metabolism speeds up. As a result, you will be burning calories. It is scientifically proven that spending 20 minutes in a 170-degree sauna room burns about 500 calories. Isn't that a great way to stay in shape?
3. They boost the immune system
It has been found that people who frequent saunas have stronger immune systems than those who don't. This is because saunas stimulate the production of white blood cells in your body. These cells help fight off infections and illness, so the more you have, the stronger your immune system becomes. This means that going to saunas regularly makes you naturally less prone to disease.
4. They promote social interaction
Saunas are much more than something that does good for your body's health - much like pools and gyms, it's also a place where you can interact with other people and socialize. So if there's a public sauna in your vicinity, you may want to take it up as a regular, social activity to plan with friends, family members, or simply other other sauna users you happen to meet there.
5. They improve your endurance
Lack of endurance is one of the obstacles that limits our potential during sports and other physical exercise. Because the conditions at a sauna are at times unbearable, resisting the dryness and temperature may help you challenge your levels of endurance in your physical performance, and ameliorate them. This means you would experience less fatigue and be able to better maintain your energy levels over a prolonged period.
6. They make your hair look great
If you want to give your hair a boost, hit the sauna. Doing this can help activate a gland found in your scalp, called the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for releasing compounds that help condition and moisturize your hair, and improving its overall state. So instead of spending money on expensive hair products, just hop to your closest sauna every now and then and you'll be reaping benefits for your hair and enjoying yourself at the same time.
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7. They help your body recover from workouts
Did you know that taking a sauna session is one of the best things to do for your body after a good workout? The heat in the sauna creates an optimal condition for your body to rest in, helping it eliminate metabolic wastes. Apart from this, it improves the flow in your body, enabling the blood to reach your tired and strained muscles and helping them recover quicker. It's no surprise that most gyms nowadays are completed with their very own sauna.
8. They help you look younger
Saunas offer the perfect exercise for your skin, as the heat improves the blood flow to reach it. As you grow older, your skin becomes less elastic and more dead cells accumulate in the pores. Regular sauna sessions encourage the growth of new skin, help with the removal of dead cells, and boost the production of oil in our skin, in turn leaving it more moisturized and looking younger.