Why do people seek out the opportunity to sit inside an uncomfortably hot room for 15 minutes to sweat uncontrollably?
What do saunas do?
What are the health benefits?
After reading articles and listening to several podcasts, I’ve found many amazing benefits of sauna use on heart health that can maximize your fitness goals from just utilizing a sauna every other day for just 20 minutes after a workout.
I’ve found this information on various credible sites, books, and articles which include people like Ben Greenfield, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, and several other doctors from The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
There are A TON of Benefits that will impress or even shock you, but I’m only going to talk about 3 important ones that everyone should be aware of.
3 Key Health Benefits of a Sauna Session
- Increases HGH Levels (Human Growth Hormone)
It’s widely known among biochemists and exercise physiologists that certain types of exercise can raise circulating human growth hormone levels. What’s less widely known is that sitting in the sauna can have a comparable effect under certain conditions.
There is a period of around 30-60 minutes immediately following a workout when your body will be doing the most active rebuilding of muscle and replenishing of glycogen (the muscles’ energy storage).
Raising circulating HGH during this window can potentially further bolster the already-heightened rebuilding and repairing your body is doing in this window.
This support of your body’s rebuilding efforts will translate to greater gains in muscle and fitness, as well as being less sore the following days.
It is also linked to strength gains, better sleep quality, and pain relief, but there’s also a lot to talk about with regard to heat shock proteins.
There’s a lot of evidence that saunas can take it to a whole new level, with some research suggesting that two 20-minute sauna sessions in a week can elevate GH levels two-fold over baseline, and that increasing the heat can result in even bigger jumps.
In one study, subjects who endured two one-hour sauna sessions in a week temporarily increased their GH levels by 1,600 percent — of course, an hour in an extra hot sauna might be a big jump and sort of ridiculous.
Therefore, it is probably a better idea sticking with doing a 20-minute sauna every other day for maximum HGH results.
- Saunas increase Longevity
Sauna use robustly activates a class of stress response proteins known as heat shock proteins, and heat shock proteins have been implicated in aging, where increased expression has been shown mechanistically in lower organisms to confer increased longevity, and, similarly, polymorphisms in human populations that increase heat shock protein production have also been shown to have an association with increased longevity.
Heat shock proteins help all other proteins maintain their proper 3-dimensional structure in the cell which is important for each protein for it to be able to perform its function.
Additionally, a sauna will improve your cardiovascular system and capillarization, which improves blood flow to muscles and improves oxygen delivery.
While being in a sauna your heart rate can increase up to 100 beats per min during moderate sauna bathing sessions and up to 150 beats per min during more intense warm sauna use.
150 beats per minute corresponds to moderate-intensity physical exercise, which as we already know, also has a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
Plus, heat stress from sauna use also increases plasma volume and blood flow to the heart, known as stroke volume.
This results in reduced cardiovascular strain so your heart must do less work for each beat than it does to pump oxygen-rich blood to your tissues and brain.
- Saunas help with weight loss and flushing out toxins
During a sauna, the body profoundly sweats.
As heat from the blood begins to move toward the skins surface, the body’s nervous system sends signals to millions of sweat glands that cover the body.
This deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, and zinc (and alcohol) that was absorbed in the body.
Essentially, your body is detoxifying itself.
According to U.S. Army Medical research (Ward Dean, M.D.), a moderately conditioned person can easily burn off 300 calories in a sauna in a single session (10-20-minute interval).
As the heart activity increases from the increased heat, the body beings to convert more calories into usable energy.
As we move forward into our stressful lives, do yourselves a favor and relax in a sauna.
The sauna will make you:
and SLEEP BETTER.
Make Today Count.