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Saunas help improve joint movement, relieve muscle soreness and arthritis pain


(NaturalNews) For centuries, Finns, Turks, Native Americans and people from other cultures throughout the world have enjoyed relaxing in saunas, but only recently have the numerous health benefits provided by saunas been documented and scientifically proven.

Although designs vary from country to country, most traditional saunas are based on similar principles. A sauna is usually an enclosed space where the temperature is raised to between 70 and 100 degrees Centigrade (158 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit).

Traditional saunas vary in humidity levels. Finnish saunas, for example, produce relatively low humidity levels (around 10 to 20 percent), while Turkish saunas usually operate at higher humidity levels.

Modern saunas usually depend on either wood-burning stoves or electric heaters, but there are also infrared saunas which use light waves to heat the body without producing high temperatures in the room. (Steam rooms are often referred to as "saunas," but technically-speaking they are not true saunas in the traditional sense).

Whatever type of sauna is used, the health benefits are basically the same, and there are many. In general, saunas increase the heart rate and also increase circulation by widening blood vessels.

Health benefits of saunas

From Medical News Today:

"Increased circulation may help reduce muscle soreness, improve joint movement, and ease arthritis pain. The heat in a sauna may also promote relaxation, which can improve feelings of well-being."

But there may be another (even more important) health benefit: One recent study showed that regular sauna sessions actually help to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The study, which was conducted in Finland, followed more than 2,315 men aged 42 to 60 for a period of 20 years. The results showed that men who regularly went to sauna sessions were significantly less likely to die from a heart attack, and the more regular the sessions, the greater the benefit:

"Participants who used the sauna two to three times a week experienced sudden cardiac death 22 percent less than those who only used it once a week.

"The results were even greater for men who used a sauna more often. Those who used a sauna four or more times a week experienced sudden cardiac death 63 percent less often than those who only used a sauna once a week."

Apparently, sitting in a sauna produces cardiovascular effects similar to that of engaging in moderate exercise – that's good news for the chronically lazy!

All joking aside, regular sauna sessions appear to have measurable health benefits.

But wait – there's more!

Not only can sauna sessions improve heart health and relieve joint and muscle pain, but there are other benefits to be gained from sitting in a heated room – whether alone or with others, naked or wrapped in a towel.

Saunas can relieve asthma and bronchitis symptoms, and may even help in preventing colds.

Regular sauna sessions can also improve the skin, reduce stress and may even raise your metabolism over time. However, any weight loss from sweating is only temporary, so (contrary to popular myth) saunas are not really a quick way to shed unwanted pounds.

Avoiding dehydration

Since saunas cause the body to sweat and therefore lose fluids, there is a risk of becoming dehydrated. To avoid this, don't drink alcohol before entering a sauna room, limit your sauna sessions to a reasonable amount of time (20 minutes is the recommended limit), and be sure to drink two to four glasses of water after leaving the sauna room.

Home saunas are more affordable than you may realize

If you'd like to conduct your sauna therapy sessions in the privacy of your own home, reasonably affordable home saunas are available. The typical cost of installing a home sauna kit runs between $2,400 and $3,200. That's a fairly sizable investment for some, but considering the benefits, it may be well worth it.






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