Did you know that there’s a 100% natural and straightforward method to keep you fit and healthy? Were you aware that for a moderate cost and as little as 20 minutes a day, your body can heal from head to toes? The answer lies in regular trips to a dry sauna chamber.
Dry saunas exploit high temperatures and low humidity to create far-fetching health benefits. Frequent sessions will help you reduce congestion, eliminate toxins, boost immunity, and polish your skin. Below is an extensive list of the many perks of dry heat saunas.
What Is A Dry Sauna?
A dry sauna is a safe, enclosed room with temperatures reaching 195°F. The sole purpose of dry saunas is to promote relaxation and health through heavy sweating. They use dry heat and low moisture levels, unlike steam rooms that take advantage of wet heat and 100% humidity.
The interior must have proper insulation and typically comprises unpainted moisture-resistant wooden slats and benches. An electric heater filled with rocks and wall-mount controls are also compulsory.
Perks Of Exploiting A Dry Sauna
Let’s take a deep dive into the well-known benefits of using dry saunas. Most of these noteworthy gains stem from studies and are reliable when it comes to your health.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Even a starter-kit dry sauna can boost the overall body circulation. Regular treatments stimulate the internal layer of blood vessels, and this helps blood pressure regulation. The induced sweat also speeds up the blood flow and enhances your heart health.
More so, weekly sauna sessions fight arterial stiffness and strengthen the dilation of blood vessels. Research has shown that men who made up to seven trips to the sauna per week had a 50% reduced risk of elevated blood pressure.
In most cases, circulation improvements resemble the effects of moderate exercise. Plus, due to the increased circulation, frequent sauna exposure can improve your stamina and athletic performance.
2. Toxins Elimination
Your body is prone to absorbing harmful elements that must get disposed of through urine, blood, or perspiration. Hence, heavy sweating is one of the healthiest ways to eliminate toxins. To illustrate, phthalates (found in cosmetics, utensils, and paints) get released twice more in sweat than in urine.
Moreover, a dry sauna can help you get rid of harmful toxins, such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic stored deep in your skin. Other toxins that get flushed out while sweating in the sauna include BPA, mercury, and nicotine.
3. Improved Mental Health
Besides physical benefits, dry saunas treat your mind in a calming way. Sauna chambers are comfortable, peaceful, and dark places, so they boost your emotional and mental wellbeing. Basking in a dry heat sauna will help your mind relax by enabling it to escape from reality.
At first, you’ll experience deep relaxation and stress relief that can lower the risk of various mental disorders. Moreover, sauna heat relaxes the muscles and stimulates the production of endorphins. These hormones are natural chemicals that make you feel good and glow after sauna exposure.
The list of positive mental impacts goes on. Daily sessions will reduce the cortisol levels and lead to less anxiety and tension. The lower the cortisol presence, the higher your spirits and sleep quality.
Last, dry heat stimulates the release of beta-endorphins in the body. These natural elements diminish the perception of pain and act as sedatives. Sweating also induces the production of euphoric hormones, which fight off depression symptoms.
4. Skin Care And Exfoliation
Spending time in a dry sauna is a true gift for your skin health. One way to enhance your epidermis is to bring more nutrients to the skin surface to stimulate cell growth. Luckily, each sauna session will do exactly that, plus open up pores.
Dry saunas also reduce skin irritation and inflammation. That’s because heavy sweating has a cleansing effect and removes impurities from the outer skin layers. After a few sessions, you will notice that the dry, itchy, red patches improve. Some users have witnessed acne, eczema, and psoriasis alleviation.
Saunas will also relax facial tension and moisturize your skin. The emitted heat activates the sebaceous glands, which produce a fatty substance that lubricates the skin surface. Increased sebum production leads to luscious, rejuvenated skin with a hydrated glow.
5. Weight Loss Aid
Let’s first make clear that dry saunas aren’t supposed to be weight loss mechanisms. Keeping fit is a complex process that involves physical exercise and a proper diet. However, using a sauna blanket or chamber after workouts can facilitate your efforts to lose weight.
Sweating can lead to losing water weight, too. High temperatures increase the heart rate, like when you work out, and the body starts to burn calories. This process speeds up your metabolism and helps you regulate body weight and appetite surges.
6. Muscles And Joints Recovery
Intense physical activity activates your muscles, and microscopic tears form as a result of strain. Though these tears will make your body toned, you will probably experience cramps, soreness, and inflammation.
So, if you want to strengthen your musculature, it needs to heal first. That’s where heat comes in handy. Dry sauna sessions will stimulate blood circulation and thus speed up muscle recovery. The accelerated bloodstream brings more oxygen to the muscles and thus relieves tension.
Infrared dry saunas also reduce inflammatory markers. Indeed, one pilot study demonstrated alleviated pain and rheumatism with possible long-term beneficial effects. Even stiffened joints and connective tissues have responded positively to heat.
7. Improved Immunity System
Never underestimate the power of dry heat when fighting the common cold and flu. Regular sauna treatments prevent congestion and keep airways functioning. Moreover, even home sessions in a sauna blanket can lower the risk of contracting a viral infection.
Heat exposure stimulates your bloodstream to carry immunity boosters to all areas of the body. Thus, the heat shock protein that activates antigen-presenting cells comes to light. Thanks to the cytokine, your body’s natural immune system wakes up.
Once you strengthen your body’s resistance, it becomes easier to fight off the flu and other viruses and bacteria. One study showed that athletes exposed to 15-minute sauna baths witnessed an immediate increase in WBC count and cortisol levels. White blood cell (WBC) is a marker of immunity strength.
8. Better Mood
As discussed, a dry sauna experience can reduce stress by releasing endorphins. These hormones are the result of your body getting relieved and meditating. Indeed, the mental benefits after each heat session are so significant that some professionals recommend their patients to take on sauna therapy.
Saunas are particularly beneficial when it comes to enhancing our moods. Many people who often use saunas claim that their anxiety levels have reduced after one session only. Moreover, they have noticed gradual disappearance of other stress and tiredness-related factors.
Treating your body with heat will also help you overcome depression, hostility, confusion, and anger. The reason is that dry sauna exposure can make you feel less tensed and more alert. On top of that, your neck and face muscles will also relax.
9. No More Insomnia And Fatigue
If you lack deep sleep or suffer from sleeping disorders, frequent sauna use can prove helpful. Research has demonstrated that regular dry sauna bathing has a positive impact on sleep disturbances. Often, steroid medications fail to help people improve their sleep patterns, but not sauna therapy.
The number of people who recall a deep sleep experience after sauna bathing is tremendous. This claim is due to the combination of body temperature elevation and the release of endorphins. In short, the stimulation of endorphins in a warm environment that falls at bedtime leads to a relaxed sleep.
To make things worse, nearly four million Americans in the US only face severe chronic fatigue syndromes. CFS is an incapacitating illness that affects all body systems. People who struggle with this condition face unrelenting fatigue for months accompanied by headaches and immune system deficits.
Regular sauna use can reduce the symptoms of this complex and long-term disorder that often leads to anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal dysfunction. You’ll soon notice that your concentration and memory get better, too.
10. Decreased Dementia Risk
Another reliable study showed a correlation between frequent sauna sessions and a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s in men. The results have proven that the more often users exposed their bodies to dry heat, the better their brain function became.
More specifically, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia decreased by 65% in people who took between four and seven sessions a week. Hence, regular sauna trips may act as a protective factor against developing common memory diseases.
From a scientific point of view, sauna treatments stimulate the brain-derived neurotrophic factor to produce new brain cells. BDNF also maintains existing cells and improves the formation of neural connections.
In general, dry saunas are safe to use in moderation. Yet, saunas can impact you adversely if your water intake before the sauna session is insufficient. As you sweat to keep the body temperature stable, the longer you remain in a sauna blanket or chamber, the more fluids you lose.
Healthy adults don’t have to fear any adverse side effects, provided they follow safety procedures. So, it’s vital to understand how to use saunas properly before stepping into the room.
How long you should stay in a dry sauna varies depending on your current health, age, and heat tolerance. Experts suggest dedicating between 15 and 20 minutes per session for healthy individuals. Still, the length of your stay will also depend on how comfortable you feel inside.
It may be ideal to begin with shorter sessions and move on to the upper time limit. Or you can decide to break up your sessions into smaller chunks of five minutes. Don’t forget to allow your body some cooling time between segments. Use these breaks to stretch or lay down and hydrate.
Most dry saunas have an installed timer so you can plan your sessions. The appropriate temperature in the dry sauna should be between 150°F and 195°F, depending on your preferences. The higher end of the range is usually the average setting in public spas and gyms.
Besides time length and temperature guidelines, you need to be aware of a few widely accepted practices. Here are our pro tips:
- Always take a shower before and after each sauna session.
- Apart from drinking a lot of water during the treatment, it’s essential to plan your meals. You won’t feel the full benefits if your stomach is full. Hence, avoid plentiful meals before the sauna session, or even better, eat when you finish.
- As for clothing, consider wearing a cotton towel or a bathing suit if you’re in a public sauna. Take off any metal parts or jewelry you might be wearing. At home, you can experience the full benefits of dry heat without clothes.
- Leave the sauna immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous. Hot flashes, headaches, and cold chills are warning signs of discomfort.
- Avoid the sauna if you’ve been taking alcohol, medications, trying to conceive, or are pregnant.
- Consult with your doctor to define the recommended sauna time based on your health. People with kidney, liver, and heart disorders may get advice to avoid saunas entirely.
Regular dry sauna sessions can have multifold physical and mental gains for the body. Heat will work wonders on your brain, skin, muscles, and immune system. From enhanced cognitive health to boosted circulation, the natural benefits of a dry sauna are priceless.
This article offers insight into what you should be looking for if you’re wondering whether to buy a dry sauna. Consider all our tips to reach a wise decision.
Have you ever experienced a dry sauna treatment? What’s your overall impression? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below. We’d love to hear it!
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