Taking care of our bodies is our responsibility and everyday we live on this planet, we take in toxins in one way or another. It is either through the air we breathe or the junk food we eat and as such, detoxification becomes an absolute must if we are to improve our health and wellbeing. There are things we could do to detoxify our body and one that has become well known in our day and age is the sauna.
Saunas have been around for over a hundred years and have been used for lots of therapeutic reasons. In this article we are going to get into the basics and general information about saunas and which ones are the best for you.
What is a Sauna?
Not to go into a lot of scientific stuff, a sauna is a small room which can be used as a steam bath for refreshing the body or for similar purposes. A building with one or more such rooms can also be called a sauna.
Saunas basically make a person sweat out all the toxins and other bad stuff in their body. The earliest saunas in Finland where made by digging pits in a slope where a fireplace with stones would reside and the stones would then be heated to a very high temperature. Every once in a bit, some water would be thrown on the stones to produce more steam and as such, more intense heat.
What does a sauna do?
A sauna makes one sweat. That is all it does. So to really know what you can gain from going into a sauna, we would need to look at the benefits of sweating.
When a person goes in for a heat session in a sauna, the heart rate soars and this is no surprise since saunas are usually heated to between 70oC to 100oC, or sometimes higher. In a sauna, due to the heat, the body attempts to keep cool and thatis where the sweating comes in. One can lose about a pint of sweat having spent 10 – 20 minutes in the sauna.
Types of Saunas
Wood Burning – These are saunas where wood is burned to heat up the sauna. These saunas are usually low in humidity but high in temperature.
Electrically Heated – These are similar to the above mentioned wood burning. These types of sauna also feature very high temperatures and low humidity. In an electrically heated sauna, an electrical heater is attached to the floor of the room and this heats up the sauna.
Infrared Room – Infrared saunas are different from the Electrical and wooden saunas due to the fact that special lamps are the heating tools for this sauna. These saunas differ in technology one unit could be a carbon infrared sauna and the other could be ceramic infrared sauna. The lamps heat up the person’s body and not the room per se so the room does not get so hot. Usually, the heat in the room stays at about 60oC.
There is the question of which could be the best home sauna, the answer to that actually depends on the kind of space or structure that you have. Infrared saunas are usually more expensive to set up and as we have seen, the heat is not as high as others so if you are particular about the amount of heat you get, it is preferable to go for the wooden or electrically heated sauna.
Benefits of Sauna
When in a sauna sweating away all that stress, you may find yourself asking what actually the long term benefits of sauna sessions are. Could it be just a little sweat (or a lot of sweat) every once in a while or is there some other deeper benefits?if you’ve ever asked yourself what is a sauna for, or wondered the benefits of sauna, then here goes.
#1 Saunas can protect your brain
Think about that one. When sweating in a sauna, there is improved blood flow to parts of the body including the brain and a study conducted on age and Ageing showed that people who used the sauna a few times every week had significantly lower risks of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Here is the study link
#2 Saunas can help you recover faster
It would sure be nice to have enhanced recovery after a strength workout or cardio session and you are in luck because infrared saunas are wonderful for recovery. The technology behind infrared saunas as mentioned above allows the light rays to penetrate the skin and aid muscle and tissue regeneration which in turn leads to enhanced and faster recovery.
#3 Saunas can help you reduce cholesterol
A study in Poland showed that subjects who used the sauna every other day reduced their total cholesterol and scientists speaking on the subject concluded that a sauna copies the effect of intense physical exercise as it concerns cholesterol. What that means is that as you sit in the sauna, cholesterol thinks you are doing some kind of physical exercise and as such, you levels will eventually drop.
Saunas can also be bought and you can have in your own home a portable infrareds sauna. One may choose to use the sauna for just weight loss, or perhaps relaxation but as we can see here, there are a lot of good things a sauna bath can do for our health. If for nothing else, the fact that they have been used for therapy of sorts for over a century should tell us that they are important and should we have the luxury, it Is advised to make a sauna bath part of your weekly routine.