Nothing is more invigorating than healthy and deep sweating. After all, sweating is a way of releasing toxins from the body. Aside from the natural sweating that you get during physical exercise, the process of releasing toxins while you sit and relax in an enclosed heated room is a plus.
Stepping into a hot sauna after a workout can be both energizing and calming. A sauna bath is not just beneficial to your body — it can also be good to you mentally. While some people just sit quietly and relax, others do their meditation inside the sauna. And all it takes is just a few minutes a week to look and feel better inside out.
Here are seven important reasons why a sauna bath is good for you:
Sauna Detoxifies the Body
The gentle, persistent heat of a sauna bath helps the body flush away toxins through sweating. Deep sweating helps reduce the level of toxic substances and other harmful chemicals that we get from what we eat and from our environment. It is imperative to detoxify your body regularly, and a quick sauna bath after a workout will do just that.
It Soothes Muscles and Joints
Sauna heat makes the core body temperature rise, causing blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood circulation. The increased blood flow helps with the body’s natural healing process — it soothes sore muscles and joint pains. This is the reason why it is ideal to take a sauna bath after vigorous physical activity.
Sauna Burns Calories
Some people promote and use the sauna as an additional weight-loss tool. The sweating process requires your body to use energy, which burns calories. This is more effective when you know how to breathe properly inside the sauna room, as proper breathing helps stimulate body heat. The raised body heat then helps convert fats and carbohydrates into energy.
It Relieves Stress and Anxiety
The heat can be both energizing and calming. Also, the sauna room is a warm and quiet place with fewer distractions from the outside world – which is a good reason why it’s good to meditate while sauna-bathing. The heat relaxes the muscles, soothes joint pains, improves blood circulation, flushes toxins, and stimulates the release of endorphins which provide a natural “feel-good” effect. It is also recommended to use essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint in the sauna to promote aromatherapy and create a more calming atmosphere.
Sauna Fights Illness and Boosts Immunity
Regular sauna-bathing can help fight the viruses that cause common colds and cough. This is because the heat helps the body produce white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn helps boost the immune system and fight illnesses more efficiently. The sauna can also help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion, especially when used with eucalyptus essential oil.
It Promotes Clean and Glowing Skin
Sauna is actually an effective beauty regimen when it comes to skin cleansing. The heat opens up the pores, allowing the sweat to be released. The sweat then helps cleanse and moisturize the skin, getting rid of the dead skin cells. Sweating rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer, improving capillary circulation. Both the heat and improved blood circulation may cause the skin to flush naturally, thus the beautiful after-sauna glow.
Sauna Improves Sleep
As mentioned, sauna promotes relaxation not only to your body — but more importantly, to your mind. A five to 15-minute sauna bath in the evening may contribute to a night of deeper and more relaxed sleep. There are many reasons why sauna is believed to help improve sleep — the calming effect of the heat is one thing, the relaxed muscles is another.
Important Reminders Before Going In The Sauna
Sauna is naturally beneficial to your physical and mental wellbeing. To get the full potential of a sauna bath, always remember the following:
- Take a cool shower before stepping inside the sauna room.
- It is ideal to remove all clothing (and go naked) while sauna-bathing.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna bath.
- The ideal duration of a sauna bath is between 5 to 15 minutes only. Do not stay longer than 30 minutes.
- Use essential oils to enhance your experience.
- Gradually increase the heat by putting water on the stones as needed.
- Breathe properly and relax.
- After the sauna bath, let your body cool down for about 3 to 5 minutes, then take a cool shower.
- Do not take a sauna bath when you are pregnant.
- Listen to your body. If you think you can no longer take the heat, get out to cool down for a while.
To enjoy the full benefits of a sauna bath, it’s necessary to take extra caution. The heat may be a bit uncomfortable at first, especially for first-timers. But over time, you will get used to it and may actually find it comforting. Doing this regularly for at least 3 times a week, to begin with, will surely make a wonderful difference to your overall wellbeing.