Can saunas really help protect you against heart and brain diseases?

Amazing relaxation while being bathed in soothing heat as your every care drifts away and your health gets a boost. Sounds delightful, right? The feel of a sauna is incredibly pleasing to many people, and now, research shows that regular sauna use is not just enjoyable. It also yields some serious health benefits. For example, it can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as brain disorders such as dementia. With heart disease and Alzheimer’s being leading causes of death and disability in the United States, this news about saunas is definitely welcome.

What the research shows about sauna use

The research on the benefits of sauna is truly remarkable, and what is even more compelling is that the study showing the benefits was done over a long period of time (more than two decades) with a large number of participants. University of Eastern Finland researchers followed 2,300 men and discovered that there was a staggering 63% decrease in deaths from strokes and heart disease in the participants who used saunas regularly. Even more encouraging, there was a 66% decrease in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia cases with the sauna users. One key to getting results like that was using saunas frequently enough, such as completing four sessions weekly.

If any medication could achieve something like that, it would make headlines everywhere offline and online. It would be the top trend on every single social media network. This is just another piece of proof showing how well natural therapies work. (RELATED: Learn more about disease prevention at Prevention.news)

Why saunas are so beneficial for certain health conditions

Now the question is “Why does sauna use yield such amazing health benefits?” More research needs to be done to uncover more specific answers, but so far it appears that the astounding benefits relate to the increasing of the body’s core temperature in a mechanism called passive heat therapy. This in turn increases blood flow, which is beneficial to cardiovascular health. The process is similar to what happens when a person exercises. And sweating has been shown to be beneficial for overall health.

Quite possibly sauna use is beneficial also because it induces such a deep state of relaxation and stress relief, given that stress contributes to inflammation. Stress and inflammation are involved in many chronic health problems.

Ideas for getting into regular sauna use

Many Scandinavian homes have beautiful wood saunas, but this handy and healthful feature is not always prevalent in other areas of the world such as the United States. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from reaping the benefits of sauna use. Public locations such as gyms, spas and even integrative health practitioners’ offices house saunas. For those who prefer the privacy and convenience of in-home sauna use, there are portable saunas available to purchase online that are quite reasonably priced. Some models fold up for easy storage and portability.

There are also the much more elaborate, permanent and beautiful wood saunas. The main down side to these is that they are more expensive. But for people who can afford them, the cost certainly can be lower than the cost and suffering involved with a serious chronic condition such as heart disease or dementia.

We have known for a long time that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now we need to revise that familiar phrase by saying “a few sauna sessions a week can keep many health problems away.” This information coming out about sauna use is a reminder that simple lifestyle practices can provide profound effects for our health.

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