Do you sauna?
There are numerous benefits to sauna - which is why we had one built in our backyard!
A prospective cohort study included 2,315 Finnish men who were followed for over 20 years.
Men were divided into groups on the basis of the frequency of sauna bathing and the duration of a sauna bathing session.
The mean frequency, duration, and temperature of sauna bathing were 2.1 times per week, 14.2 minutes and 78.9°C (174.02°F).
The results showed that higher frequency and duration of sauna bathing were inversely and independently associated with risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. Meaning, more frequent sauna bathers had reduced risk of cardiovascular events.
Another study found an inverse association was found between sauna bathing session duration and risk of sudden cardiac death with the risk 52% lower comparing participants doing >19 minutes per session vs 11 minutes for each sauna bathing session duration.
The risk of fatal myocardial infarction or death thought to be due to cardiac cause was 23% lower for 2 to 3 sauna bathing sessions per week and 48% lower for 4 to 7 sauna bathing sessions per week.
Frequency of sauna bathing, but not duration, was also inversely associated with all-cause mortality, with a 40% reduction comparing 4 to 7 sessions vs 1 session of sauna bathing per week. Meaning those who participated in sauna bathing sessions more frequently, had a reduced risk of death from ANY cause.
The beneficial effects of sauna baths on cardiovascular disease and mortality may be mediated via reduction in blood pressure, improvement in endothelial function, reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation, beneficial modulation of the autonomic nervous system, improved lipid profile and arterial compliance, and improvement in the cardiorespiratory system.
Heart rate may increase up to 100/min during moderate sauna bathing sessions and up to 150/min during more intense warm sauna bathing, corresponding to low- and moderate-intensity physical exercise training.
These proposed functional improvements associated with sauna bathing correspond to similar benefits seen with regular physical exercise, such as improvement in blood pressure and left ventricular function.
Now, do you want to sauna?!