Sauna healthy or unhealthy?

Mar 27, 2019
User Article Submitted by Evelin Mode
Sauna healthy or unhealthy?

hose who regularly sweat in the sauna swear by their positive effects on health, attractiveness and well-being.

Sauna healthy or unhealthy? 

Reasons to visit a sauna

Those who regularly sweat in the sauna swear by their positive effects on health, attractiveness and well-being. We explain how the sauna actually works on body and soul and give you 9 good reasons why a visit to the sauna makes you healthy, beautiful and younger.

Why the Germans go to the sauna - or not

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More than five million Germans often go to the sauna or to the steam bath, and another 21+ million at least now and then (source: Statista 2017).

According to a recent survey by YouGov in early 2017, at least two thirds of Germans would have been in the sauna before, one third never before. Those who did not go to the sauna would have justified this in the survey with the usual heat (42 percent). So far, 24% of non-sauna enthusiasts have simply not yet come up with the idea. And each 19% would avoid the sauna out of shame or boredom.

Quite different the convinced Saunagänger: 63% of them would have indicated that they visited the sauna, because they would find relaxation there. 46% stated that the sauna was healthy. 24% of the sauna-goers called fun as a reason for their sauna visit, 16% would like the heat. For 14%, the sauna is a place where they spend time with friends and acquaintances.

What makes the sauna healthy

Visiting a sauna will make your body sweat a lot: you will lose up to a liter of sweat during two or three saunas. This is ensured by the heat, which varies depending on the type of sauna.

Between 40 and 110 degrees Celsius are common in saunas. The Finnish sauna, which is widespread in Germany, has a hot 75 to 110 degrees Celsius.

How your body reacts to sauna heat, cooling and rest

Once you are in the sauna room, your circulation will operate at a high performance level. They get - purely physically - in stress, corresponding stress hormones are distributed. Your blood vessels are widening, your heart is beating faster. Your blood pressure drops. In order to supply blood to all the organs of your body, your heart now has to work more.

Important: In order not to overstrain the heart, you should not stay in the heat for more than eight to twelve minutes per sauna session.

Because of the high temperatures, the muscles in your body relax. At the same time, thanks to the hot air in the sauna, the circulation of your mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and throat is improved. Also your metabolism gets up to speed at the sauna heat. Likewise, the body's immune system (immune system). Your skin will heat up to 40 degrees Celsius, the blood flow in it doubles. The temperature in your core increases by one, two degrees Celsius.

Woman shower cold water

But: Only then, if you then miss your heated body a cold shock, the sauna is healthy.

Why? Because of the cooler air outside the sauna room and the cold water, your blood vessels suddenly contract, the blood pressure rises, the body switches to alarm. That's why adrenaline and hormones are released.

During the subsequent relaxation phase your heart beats evenly, full of strength and comparatively slowly. Your skin feels pleasant.

That brings the sauna - good reasons for the sauna

Of the benefits of the sauna for your health, you then have the most, if you go to the sauna regularly. After half a year of regular sweating, you can feel the many effects of it safely. In our list we give you 9 positive effects that you can count on:

Woman candles sauna healthy

1. Sauna will strengthen your body's defense

The sauna-typical alternation of hot (sweating) and cold (cooling) is said to have a beneficial effect on the autonomic nervous system. At the same time it reduces inflammatory processes in your body. An optimally placed defense leaves pathogens no chance - the sauna thus prevents infections such as colds & Co. sustainably.

2. Sauna brings your circulation up to speed

The repeated temperature changes in the sauna also have a stimulating effect on your circulation. Regular sauna sessions would thus become cardiovascular training, which improves your body's oxygen supply. According to a study by the University of Eastern Finland, regular visits to the sauna should be particularly effective at protecting against sudden cardiac death and other cardiac risks.

3. Sauna increases life expectancy

According to the clinically relevant study of the University of Eastern Finland just mentioned, those who regularly go to the sauna should also be able to count on higher life expectancy - although the study was unable to prove why this is so.

4. Sauna will improve your complexion

Because of the sauna heat your blood vessels dilate, the skin is better supplied with blood and better supplied with oxygen. By cooling down after sweating your blood vessels narrow again. This trains the vessels, your skin is rosy and fresh. Because of the improved care, the skin is overall healthier and more beautiful. A sauna session also removes dead skin cells and thus ensures cleanliness to the pores. 

Dry skin also benefits from the high humidity in the sauna, they can store more of them, as a study showed. Lack of moisture promotes wrinkling. All in all, the regular sauna visit rejuvenates your complexion. Anyone who is struggling with skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne and atopic dermatitis should also be able to alleviate these with regular sauna visits.

5. Sauna improves your breathing

Your respiratory organs are also stimulated by the temperature change between the sauna room and the surrounding area. In the heat you can even breathe deeper than outside. Breathing through trains your respiratory organs, in the long run you should be able to take more air. 

The hot, humid air that makes your mucous membranes smoother will help you especially if you have problems with your bronchi. Asthma patients and sauna brats suffering from chronic bronchitis should be able to alleviate their discomfort by taking a sauna. In the hot sauna, air warms and relaxes the bronchial musculature of the respiratory tract, which stimulates mucus production.

6. Sauna relaxes your muscles

A sauna visit would be particularly good if you had just been exercising - this has also been confirmed by a study: You can prevent muscle soreness by going to the sauna.

7. Sauna improves the well-being

According to a study, anyone who goes into the hot temperatures of a sauna causes the body's own production of so-called happiness hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which increases well-being and triggers a feeling of euphoria.

8. Sauna helps against sleep problems

The increase in serotonin levels in the brain caused by the passage into the sauna is thought to promote sleep.

9. Sauna relaxes headaches

A small study showed that regular use of the sauna reduced the intensity of pain and headache in patients with chronic headache of the CTTH tension type.

Women's sauna stove

Does sauna infusion make the sauna healthy?

The infusion will increase the heat stress that your body experiences when you go to the hot sauna. He increased the humidity in the sauna room. Not more but also not less. For most of the above-mentioned positive effects of the sauna infusion, however, is irrelevant.

Do scents in the sauna infusion make the sauna healthier?

Fragrant essences, mostly realized as an addition of essential oils, should be able to enhance the positive effects of the sauna, in particular on the respiratory tract. They are therefore common practice in many saunas.

But: The flavors can irritate your bronchi and lungs and trigger coughing attacks. This is especially true for children and allergy sufferers, because the essential oils can cause shortness of breath. Even those who have low or high blood pressure should avoid the fragrant infusions.

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