The Sauna Bath and Your Health
There are certain health benefits associated with using Sauna baths. Find out in this article which type of sauna bath is good and what it can do for your body.
Types of Sauna Bath
Saunas may be categorized according to the type of heat it uses. It could be using dry heat or wet heat.
Steam baths in spas use wet heat. This means that these places employ heat with temperature ranges of 40 to 50 deg Celsius in rooms with high humidity or moisture content.
Saunas use dry heat. Temperature can reach as high as 100 deg Celsius with less than 20% moisture content. It is easier to breathe in saunas than steam baths, but in case the condition is too dry, an option is to pour water on the stones.
Some saunas make use of infrared heat, which applies direct heat. Experts believe that this technology is better because of deeper heat penetration into the body’s tissues. A person only needs to stay for 10 to 15 minutes in a sauna bath to start sweating.
Benefits of Sauna Bathing
Detoxifies the body
Spending 10 to 15 minutes in a sauna bath stimulates the release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings and opens the sweat glands in the skin. This is the body’s natural response when it feels hot – sweating – to cool off the body. What happens is the capillaries beneath the skin dilate and open the skin pores. When this occurs, toxins, dirt and excess oils are excreted leaving the skin with a healthy glow. Further remove dead skin cells by having a shower after the sauna bath.
Before going in a sauna bath, be sure to drink lots of fluids. Your body can release as much as one liter of water when you stay inside a sauna bath. This is good for your health because your body releases unwanted toxins through the skin’s open pores.
Having a sauna bath is a good way to relieve your body of stress. Sauna heat causes the endocrine glands to secrete endorphins. Endorphins are what experts call ‘feel good’ hormones. No wonder you feel great after a sauna bath. The heat also relieves muscles aches and pains. Together with better blood flow, the body gets a soothing feeling and better mobility.
Improves cardiovascular and lung function
Sauna heat improves blood flow and increases heart rate without causing high blood pressure. It is also beneficial to people with respiratory conditions since dry sauna heat improves lung function. Wet heat is not advisable for people with respiratory problems like pneumonia because it only causes difficulty in breathing. Too dry heat is not also advisable because it can destroy the protective mucous membrane in the lungs.
Metabolism can be stimulated by heat. So, the body gets the same benefits as mild exercise. You can lose a little weight because of sweating. However, this should not be considered as a substitute for proper diet and exercise to lose weight.
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