During the cold winter months, a heat-healing sauna session can be just the thing to warm a cold and achy body, relieve stress, boost immunity and more. Here are six health benefits you can experience from making sauna part of your wintertime health regimen:
1. flushes toxins
Battling the intense sauna heat and enduring the uncontrollable sweats has seriously good health implications. Through sweating the human body is able to flush unwanted toxins built up in its system. Sauna does exactly this. Researchers have found that benefits of using saunas mimic those of exercise; increasing heart rate and sweat levels, resulting in better relaxation and general well-being. It really is a no-brainer to spend more time sat in the sauna, with zero effort required.
2. supports metabolism
With the prevalence of low mood during the chilly season, many of us fall victim to the winter munchies. Sauna has positive effects on the body’s metabolic system. During a sauna session, the sweating process requires a notable amount of energy, which, in turn, burns calories.
3. promotes pause
Sauna allows us to switch off from the chaos and chatter of everyday life, to warm the body, focus on breath and simply relax. It’s common to walk out of a sauna session feeling relaxed, revived and uplifted, which is perhaps be explained in part by a release of the “happiness molecule” serotonin, caused by increases in body temperature. It’s common for the calming effects of sauna to help people sleep better, as well.
4. strengthens the immune system
The bane of most people’s winter is the common cold; immune systems plummet and it becomes hard to fight off illnesses. This is where sauna steps in. The science behind this is simple: Sauna heat promotes an increased production of white blood cells, which in turn help fight illnesses. It is also beneficial for soothing colds: The steam vapor loosens congestion and opens up the airways, so you can breathe fully again.
5. soothes Pain
Many people experience aching joints during the winter, especially from arthritis. A warming sauna can relieve these aches and pains, while also relaxing muscles and easing tension in the body. The endorphins released during a sauna session have a pain-relieving effect as well. The heat dilates blood vessels as well, increasing blood flow, which can speed healing from sports-related injuries as well.
6. supports a healthy heart
Aiding circulation has heart health benefits as well, encouraging lower blood pressure increased metabolism, which can aid body functions. The Harvard Medical School points to recent research that suggests a regular sauna practice is linked to lower rates of fatal heart problems.
So set an intention to spend more sauna time this winter. At Root, you can drop in for a sauna session … or plan to spend a little extra time after your next massage, yoga or movement class or clinic appointment to enjoy the health benefits of sauna.