Sauna May Improve Heart Health

Research shows regular sauna bathing can dramatically improve heart health.

A Finnish team of researchers has made an astounding discovery regarding the connection between sauna bathing and longevity. For 20 years, the team followed 2,000 middle-aged men (42-60 years). During this period, it became clear that those who sauna bathed regularly had a significantly lower risk both to suffer and to die from cardiovascular diseases of various kinds. The participants who bathed lived noticeably longer. The effect was more evident the more often a person had spent time in the sauna. The study was led by Dr. Jari Laukkanen, cardiologist at the University of Eastern Finland.

“We could see that the relationship was strong even when other potential variables were included in the analyses,” he says.

The mechanisms explaining why sauna baths seem to have such a positive effect on cardiovascular health are still unknown to the researchers behind the study.

“Now further research will be needed to investigate this,” says Dr. Jari Laukkanen.

Dr. Rita Redberg is a cardiologist at the University of California and editor of the journal that published the study; JAMA Internal Medicine.

“I have always loved the sauna myself, but I had no idea that the health benefits were this dramatic,” she says to Reuters.

Dr. Rita Redberg mentions that the relaxation and the social aspects of sauna bathing are factors with a positive impact on health as well, in addition to the physiological effects of the baths.

“Even though we still don’t know exactly the reasons behind why the sauna bathers lived longer, this study clearly shows that time spent in the sauna is time well spent,” she says.