You should be getting in the Sauna everyday. Let me tell you why.
We have seen a resurgence in Sauna usage over the past few years and for good reason.
There are numerous POWERFUL health benefits associated with sauna usage.
Countries like Finland & Russia embrace Sauna culture and have two of the healthiest populations in the world.
@joerogan summed up the incredible benefits of sauna perfectly in an instagram post from last year:
In this thread we will focus on 5 amazing benefits of consistent Sauna usage that you too can experience:
- Cardiovascular Health & Longevity
- Skin Health & Detoxification
- Improved Endurance & Aerobic Capacity
- Muscle Growth
- Mental Health
1. Cardiovascular Health & LongevityThere are multiple studies that report frequent sauna bathing (4-7 times / week, 20 min) is associated with:
- 50% lower risk for heart disease
- 60% lower risk of sudden cardiac death
- 51% lower risk for stroke
- 46% lower risk for hypertension
Finnish Study: A 2015 study tracked the heart health and sauna habits of 2,000 Finnish men over 20 years.
The men with the lowest mortality rates were those who spent time in the sauna four to seven times per week.
Pretty powerful stuff. The pathways of sauna are similar to that of exercise. You will experience:
- Increased heart rate (130-150 BPM), blood flow & circulation, blood pressure, oxidative stress & inflammation & arterial stiffness.
This makes the sauna an amazing compliment to your workouts.
On an active recovery day, the sauna is a fantastic tool.
A sample Active Recovery workout can look like:
- 20 minutes of stretching & mobility work
- 10 minutes of core work
- 2x 15-minute rounds of Sauna.
Amazingly simple & effective.
2. Skin Health & Detoxification
The act of sweating in the sauna is very detoxifying to your skin.
By sweating, you are removing built-up impurities & toxins.
This is restoring & rejuvenating.
The Sauna was instrumental to my own skin health:
Picture on Left (March 2020):
- Receiving Remicade infusions every 6 weeks for colitis
- Eating seed oils
- Little Vitamin D / Sunlight exposure
Picture on Right (Jan 2022):
- No longer on Remicade
- Animal-based diet
- No seed oils
- Daily sunlight Exposure It works.
The Sauna is also helping your skin receive increased circulation.
This will help your skin look healthier and more radiant.
Increased circulation allows nutrients to be delivered to your skin.
More blood flow will allow for a healthier complexion.
QUICK TIP FOR SKIN CARE:
After finishing your sauna rounds, jump into the shower and rinse off. This will remove the salt & excess impurities.
Do not let this sit on your skin for an extended period of time. Shower right after! Trust me.
3. Improved Endurance & Aerobic Capacity
A 2007 study on male distance runners showed that regular sauna exposure increased the runner's time to exhaustion by 32%.
Plasma & Red Blood Cell Volumes also increased amongst the Runners.
Also, Saunas will increase your tolerance to heat in general.
This will help you handle the increase in body temperature that comes with exercise, running, and physical effort.
4. Muscle Growth
Heat therapy has been shown to help your muscles recover.
Heat Therapy increases the production of Heat Shock Proteins.
These proteins repair damaged proteins in our bodies.
They make healthy cells stronger by protecting cells against stress & injuries.
A 1988 study found an increase in growth hormone after Sauna exposure.
In addition, a 2008 study showed that Sauna exposure can increase Insulin Sensitivity.
Insulin Sensitivity helps build & maintain lean body mass and regulates sugar in your body.
5. Mental Health
The mental benefits of the sauna are incredible.
15 minutes of Sauna exposure literally make you feel like a new person.
Several studies have shown that regular sauna use lowers levels of cortisone - your body's main stress hormone.
Sauna's have also been proven to increase the body's ability to achieve high-quality deep sleep.
Deep slip is crucial for your mental health and optimal brain function. Notice the difference in your sleep after just one sauna session.
Tips for Sauna Usage:
I recommend joining a gym that gives you access to a Sauna.
If your gym does not have a sauna, there are plenty of standalone sauna / cold plunge studios opening around the country.
Authentic Russian Banyas are amazing too.
If you are new to Sauna exposure, it is important to ease yourself into it.
Experiment with 10 minutes at a time and see how your body feels.
Bring plenty of water and keep your sodium levels high as they will quickly deplete.
Meditating & Stretching are also great practices to incorporate during your Sauna rounds.
It will help pass the time faster, increase your range of motion, and increase your ability to focus.
@LairdLife is notorious for bringing his assault bike into the sauna.