Why you Need to Reap the Benefits of Sauna


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Sauna Use: A Soothing Path to Wellness

Saunas have long been celebrated for their relaxing benefits, but beyond the immediate pleasure of the heat, they also offer a range of health benefits. From improving cardiovascular health to aiding muscle recovery and mental health, the warmth of a sauna session does more than soothe the soul. 

Let us delve into the myriad health benefits associated with regular sauna use, shedding light on why this ancient practice continues to be a cornerstone of wellness routines worldwide.

The Health Benefits

Supports Longevity

A series of studies on a cohort of 2,315 middle-aged men in Finland found that sauna use was associated with a dose-dependent reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality; people who used the sauna the most (4–7 times per week for approximately 19 minutes or more per session) had a 50% reduction in risk for these outcomes. 

A similar dose-dependent relationship was also present for sauna use and age-related neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with the most frequent sauna bathers having a 65% reduced risk of these conditions.

Sauna use seems to support longevity similarly to exercise—by acting as a mild physiological stressor. It promotes cardiovascular, neurological, and immune function. In other words, it is a hormetic stressor that promotes physiological responses that help bolster body systems most likely to falter during ageing.

More specifically, the hormetic effects of sauna are the result of its influence on the following:

  • Heat shock protein expression: Sauna (and heat generally) increases cellular concentrations of heat shock proteins, a broad class of proteins that regulate several cellular processes related to gene expression and cell division. They also recycle and repair other damaged proteins. There is mechanistic evidence that they may help prevent neurodegeneration and muscle atrophy, and some observational research in humans has correlated heat shock protein levels with small (approximately one-year) increases in lifespan.
  • Nrf2 activity: Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) regulates antioxidant and immune functions in cells, and heat seems to increase its expression, at least in human skeletal muscle.
  • IL-6 and IL-10 activity: Similarly, sauna (and exercise) increases circulating levels of interleukin 6 and interleukin 10 (IL-6 and IL-10, respectively). The former is associated with increased inflammation, but it also increases levels of the latter, which has anti-inflammatory effects. Given that low-grade inflammation is a defining characteristic of many chronic diseases, sauna’s impact on inflammatory signalling may lead to ultimately more favourable levels of inflammation in the body.

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health

One of the most significant benefits of regular sauna use is its positive impact on heart health. Studies have shown that the heat from saunas can help improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The sauna’s heat causes blood vessels to dilate (get wider), improving blood flow and mimicking the effects of moderate exercise. Regular sauna use has been shown to provide a lower risk of fatal cardiovascular events.

Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being

The calming heat of a sauna is a great way to lower stress and promote mental well-being. The warmth helps to relax muscles, alleviate tension headaches, and decrease the production of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. This serene environment provides a perfect setting for meditation and relaxation, helping to clear the mind and ease anxiety. Regular sauna use can be a valuable way to enhance mental health.

Muscle Recovery and Pain Relief

Athletes and individuals suffering from muscle aches can benefit significantly from sauna sessions. The heat helps to relieve muscle soreness and improve recovery times by increasing blood circulation, accelerating the body’s natural healing process. It is also beneficial for those with chronic pain conditions like arthritis, as the warmth can help reduce joint stiffness and inflammation, providing a natural form of pain relief.


Sauna sessions can also aid in the body’s natural detoxification process. Sweating induced by high temperatures helps flush toxins from the body, including heavy metals like lead and mercury. This cleansing process supports the liver and kidneys, which are primarily responsible for detoxification and can contribute to improved overall health.

Immune System Boost

Regular sauna use may also have a positive effect on the immune system. Heat stress induces a mild increase in body temperature, mimicking a fever, the body’s natural mechanism for strengthening its immune response. This can lead to an increase in white blood cells, helping the body to ward off illness more effectively.

Skin Health

The deep sweating achieved in a sauna session can also benefit skin health. It promotes n the removal of dead skin cells, improves skin hydration, and unclog pores, leading to clearer, softer skin. The increased blood flow also promotes collagen production, which can help with the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.


The health benefits of sauna use are extensive. The humble sauna offers a holistic approach to wellness that impacts the body, mind, and soul. Whether you want to increase longevity, improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, aid muscle recovery, detoxify, boost your immune system, or enhance your skin health, regular sauna sessions can be an invaluable addition to your health and wellness regimen. 

It is essential to use saunas responsibly, stay hydrated, and listen to your body’s signals. Embracing the warmth of the sauna can lead you on a soothing path to better health and well-being. 

Please note: Sauna use can be dangerous to those with severe, non-stable cardiovascular issues, so it would be best to speak with a doctor before using sauna therapy if you have this type of condition to see if it is suitable for you.



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