Used in Finland to promote health and longevity for over 2,000, the sauna is a popular way to unwind after a stressful workday or loosen muscles after a hard workout. A few minutes in the sauna benefits the entire body, and it is not meant merely to burn a few extra calories, as many believe. Sitting in a sauna benefits the metabolism and causes it to work faster throughout the day, much like exercise. An efficient metabolism burns calories and promotes weight loss. The sauna benefits also the heart, and has an effect on the body like exercise; the pulse increases, and the circulation is stimulated. Although a sauna is no replacement for exercise, it helps enhance the results of a good workout.
Time spent in a sauna benefits the skin and flushes out impurities that cause complaint such as acne. The results, however, are more than skin deep; the sauna is a great detoxifier and flushes out impure substances which can cause illness. Many have reported an enhanced feeling of well being after time spent in a sauna, and the heat is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of colds (although those with flu and fever are discouraged from sitting in a sauna).
Regular sessions in a sauna benefits one’s sense of touch and many describe their senses in general as having being sharpened after sauna sessions. The heat of a sauna is excellent therapy for sports injuries and helps to loosen tight muscles. The sauna benefits one’s state of mind as well, and there are many who report fewer symptoms of depression after sitting in a sauna.
A sauna is not for everyone, though. Sitting in a sauna is not recommended for the very young or the very old. Pregnant women are advised against going into a sauna, and heart or stroke patients who want to enjoy sauna benefits should consult their doctors before going into a sauna. While a sauna benefits the average, healthy adult, if you have any health issues which may cause concern, it is important to ask a physician whether a sauna regimen is right for you.