There are few things as relaxing as spending some time in the sauna. It's a great way to relax and unwind after a long workout or a day at work. Not only that, but saunas can also be a great way to help with weight loss!
But what are the proven pros and cons of sauna use? Is the sauna causing you more harm than good? Here's what the professionals say.
The Pros and Cons of Sauna Use
Saunas have some inarguable benefits for your health and wellbeing. However, it's not all perfect. Here's a rundown of the pros and cons of sauna use.
The Pros of Sauna Use
Saunas offer the average person some great health benefits.
When you get in a sauna, you'll start sweating almost immediately. Sweating accelerates the body's ability to expel toxins. You'll quite literally sweat out all sorts of impurities when sitting in a sauna. Implement the Breathe Safe air purifier and plasma generator to not only increase your exposure to negative ions, but help the body sweat even more than if you took a sauna without this powerful device.
Saunas raise your heart rate, which means increased blood flow around the body. In this way, sauna use can give a person great pain relief. It can help relieve sore muscles after a heavy workout and help with pain from conditions like arthritis. Saunas also offer inflammation relief!
There are a host of conditions that can be helped by sauna-ing, including allergic rhinitis, chronic pain, and pulmonary disease. It can also give you relief from psoriasis, a common autoimmune condition.
When you get out of the sauna, your muscles and joints will feel much more relaxed and loose. This can greatly help a person even before a workout. They may notice they're able to work out longer and harder after a quick steam!
If you're trying to lose weight, regular visits to the sauna may help you reach your goal. You can actually sweat out up to five pounds of water weight while sitting in a sauna. That's a very significant amount for something that requires no effort! For exercise enthuasists, combine sauna time and your workout with the Hot Yoga Exercise Tent. Studies show that women who rode bicycles while under near infrared light for 45 minutes three days a week lost 444% more fat and weight compared to women who bicyled without the light rays.
Studies show that regular use of the sauna can even lower the risk of dementia, and lessen the symptoms of asthma.
With all of that, saunas are also great for your mental health. Everyone needs time to relax and unwind, and the sauna is a perfect environment for that. It relaxes your body physically, while giving you a peaceful, quiet space to sit and think.
All this considered, the sauna seems like a great addition to your routine. So let's look at the cons and see if it's really worth it.
The Cons of Sauna Use
While sauna use can actually be good for your skin, it's not if you use the sauna too long. Over-use of the sauna can dry out your skin, leaving it irritated and raw. To combat this, you should only stay in the sauna for the recommended amount of time.
Occasionally, sauna use can even burn a person! This is uncommon, though, and usually only happens if the person touches the heat source. Never touch the heat source in your sauna. The good news is the risk of burn is minimial with the Sauna Fix lamp fixture, which uses metal made from a proprietary blend of non-toxic polymers that can be safely touched.
Saunas can also cause dehydration if used for too long. You get very sweaty after a few minutes in the sauna, and if you're not properly hydrated this could lead to dehydration. Always drink plenty of water with Healthy Salt before going for a sauna, especially a lengthier one. For further hydration benefits, continue to keep Healthy Salt as part of your diet.
If you have heart conditions, you may need to proceed with caution when using a sauna. Typically, sauna use can be wonderful for those with heart problems, but you will need to go slower and with a shorter duration. Studies show how saunas can actually be beneficial for the functioning of the heart. However, it is always best to speak to a doctor before going to the sauna if you have a heart issue.
Some experts say that the temperature of a typical sauna harms a man's sperm count. These changes are usually temporary, but it can take a few weeks for the sperm count to raise again. If you're trying to have a baby, it's best to stay out of the sauna.
One last possible downside of saunas is germ exposure. Germs love growing in hot, moist rooms and saunas offer that in spades. Some common infections you can get from a sauna include foot fungus and athletes' foot. The good news is that a home sauna provides a safer environment that eliminates public exposure to germs. In addition, if you implement the Breathe Safe with your sauna, you will introduce an abundance of negative ions into your sauna that also lessen your exposure to germs and increase your ability to breathe in beneficial, healthy air.
As you can see, there are potential risks with saunas, but most can be avoided with:
Proper sauna use (including length of time spent in the sauna and making sure you are hydrated before and after use)
Choosing beneficial and safe products - such as a home sauna like the Sauna Fix to minimize germs and the Breathe Safe to boost air quality
However, those with heart or other serious health conditions may wish to proceed with caution. If you're worried about your health, speak to a doctor before saunaing.
Are Saunas Bad for You?
Simply put, saunas are not bad for you if you follow all the rules.
Don't stay in the sauna longer than the recommended time—usually 15 to 20 minutes, but this may vary depending on the temperature and type of sauna. Always wear flip-flops or open-toed shoes in a public sauna to avoid foot fungus and other types of bacteria.
Always get hydrated before stepping into the sauna, and don't go near the heat source. If you have a heart condition, use the sauna for a shorter amount of time to build up, and speak to your doctor. As long as you follow these basic rules, you're going to be fine.
Saunas can be extremely beneficial, especially for people who play sports or visit the gym regularly. Regular steam in the sauna can actually boost your performance, and let you work out much longer and harder. Considering this, you should not avoid the sauna if you're a sporty person.
For the average, healthy person, and those who follow proper protocol, saunas offer very little risk. They offer tons of benefits that far outweigh the negatives. Whether you're a fitness freak, or you're looking to relax, you should not be afraid of the sauna.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you know the pros and cons of sauna use, you're ready to get steamy. If you want to reap the easy, relaxing benefits of sauna use, you can start right away!
Go Healthy Next is your one-stop-shop for the best saunas and sauna gear. Check out our near-infrared sauna page to learn more about how we can help.