Health & Wellness

Health benefits of sauna

Many well-done and respected sauna medical studies suggest tremendous health benefits can be achieved with regular sauna bathing. 
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits

13 Sauna Health & Wellness Benefits

Physically, nothing is more reinvigorating than a deep, healthy sweat every day. Tension fades. Muscles unwind. And you emerge relaxed, revived, and ready for whatever the day may bring. A few minutes a day is all it takes to look and feel better. The body's response to gentle, persistent heat is well-documented and proven day-in and day-out by people all over the world. Which is why more and more doctors are recommending sauna and its purifying benefits. Certain health issues may not be suitable for sauna use. Always consult your physician prior to any form of heat bathing. 

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Sauna Benefit #1

Overall wellbeing

Heat has the power to heal in so many ways, thanks to the body's ability to respond to it. Sweat production, heart rate increases, hormone releases, and more are all ways the body positively reacts to heat. And each response, whether physiological or psychological, offers profound health benefits for your heart, brain, skin, muscles, joints, mental health, emotional well-being, and the list goes on. 

The sauna heat combined with your preferred ambiance creates a powerfully relaxing, rejuvenating, healing and therapeutic space. As you settle in, the heat takes over and nourishes your body and mind. In short, regular sauna bathing is a wonderful, feel-good and good-for-you addition to your overall health and wellness plan. 

Health and Wellness Benefit: Overall Wellbeing
Health and Wellness Benefits: Brain Health
Sauna benefit #2

Brain health

A 25-year study conducted with more than 2,300 particpants at the University of Eastern Finland by Dr. Jari Laukkanen and his colleagues revealed regular sauna use (4-7 times per week) at 176° Fahrenheit for 19 minutes lowered the risk for both Alzheimer's and Dementia by upwards of 65%

View 20-Year Study
Sauna benefit #3

Cardiovascular health

Medical research shows that sauna bathing may also aid in reducing risk associated with high blood pressure, stroke, and all-cause mortality and fatal cardiac incidents. 

In response to high temperatures, core body temperature rises - dilating skin and increasing cardiac output/circulation. Similar to the physiological responses produced by exercise, the higher temperatures of a sauna may also cause the heart rate to rise, from 60-70 bpm to 110-120bpm (140-150 bpm with more intensive bathing). Increased heart rate helps circulate oxygen and blood to your muscles faster, lowering cholesterol and increasing calories burned. 

View University of Eastern Finland Study
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Cardiovascular Health
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Calorie Burn
Sauna benefit #4

Calorie burn

Saunas are simply one of many tools to facilitate calorie burn. Sweating requires a notable amount of energy, which is derived from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a bodily process that burns calories. According to U.S. Army medical research (Ward Dean, M.D.), "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process."

The body burns said calories due to the acceleration of heart activity. As heart activity increases and as these processes demand more oxygen, the body begins to convert more calories into usable energy. 

Sauna Benefit #5

Skin care

Heat bathing is one of the oldest health and beauty strategies in terms of cleansing one's skin. When the body begins to produce sweat via deep sweating, the skin is then cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced - keeping your skin in good working condition. 

Sweating flushes out dirt and bacteria from the epidermal layer while leaving heind a minimal amount of beneficial oils. Cleansing of the pores has been shown to improve capillary circulation, while giving the skin a softer-looking appearance and healthy glow. Regular sauna use can help purify the body from the inside out. 

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Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Skin Care
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Stress Reduction
Sauna Benefit #6

Stress reduction

The heat in the sauna helps us to relax and regulate the level of cortisol in our blood. Cortisol is the hormone that is released when stressed; significant and consistently elevated levels of cortisol can lead to a number of health issues, such as immune system weakness and troubled sleep. Sauna bathing reduces the levels of cortisol in the blood and stimulates the "happy hormone" to make you feel good. 

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Sauna benefit #7

Fitness support

Sauna relaxes muscles and soothes aches/pains in both muscles and joints. Under the high-heat of a sauna, the body releases endorphins which can minimize pain. Also, as the body temperature rises in the heat of the sauna, blood vessels dilate allowing for increased blood circulation, which in turn speeds up the body's natural healing process. After physical activity, allow the heat and steam of a sauna to promote muscle relaxation by reducing muscle tension and eliminating lactic acid and other toxins that may be present. 

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Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Fitness Support
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Sleep Improvement
Sauna Benefit #8

Sleep improvement

Research has shown that a deeper, more relaxed sleep can result from sauna use. In addition to the release of endorphins, elevated body temperatures resulting from a late evening sauna, fall at bedtime. This slow, relaxing decline in endorphins is key in facilitating sleep. Sauna bathers worldwide enjoy the deep sleep experiences resulting from the calming heat of an evening sauna.

As a result of a good night's sleep, many sauna users have reported a marked increase in their energy levels and overall feeling of wellbeing the following day. 

Listen to Sauna Sleep Podcast
Sauna Benefit #9

Respiratory health

Many studies have shown that regular sauna use with löyly and certain aromatheraphy oils can benefit those with sinus congestion and infections. Additionally, people with lung and respiratory issues have experienced improved respiratory function and ease of breathing during and after sauna use. 

Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Respiratory Health
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Toxin Release
Sauna Benefit #10

Toxin release

In the heat of a sauna core body temperature rises and sweating begins. Sweat production is primarily designed to cool the body, and is composed of 99% water. However, deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury, as well as food additives, preservatives and other environmental toxins in the body which are absorbed simply from interacting with daily environments. 

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Sauna benefit #11

Illness prevention

German sauna medical research shows that saunas were able to significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza among study participants. As the body is exposed to the heat of a sauna and steam (in the case of traditional sauna), it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn helps to fight illnesses and ill viruses. In addition, saunas can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion from colds or allergies. 

Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Illness Prevention
Sauna Health and Wellness Benefit: Social Connection
Sauna benefit #12

Social connection

The important social benefits of sauna are often underrated or dismissed entirely. While the sauna can be a private, personal area of relaxation and solitude, it can just as easily be a perfect environment for socializing with family, friends, and soon-to-be-friends. The sauna room environment is conducive to open, intimate, and quiet conversation. 

Sauna Benefit #13

Relaxation and rejuvenation

Now that you know sauna is good for you, you should also know it just feels good, too. Whether it's the physiological changes that occur during the warmth of a sauna, or simply the time spent in the calming and still retreat, every seasoned sauna bather agrees - it feels wonderful! As we progress through our everyday lives, the sauna provides a pampering retreat - where we can relax and restore body and soul. It's the best addition to your personal self-care routine. 

Sauna Health and Wellness Benefits: Relax and Rejuvenate



Health & Wellness Blogs

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Research Library

20 Year Sauna Study

December 2016 | By Dr. Jari Laukkanen: Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in middle-aged Finnish men.
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Why Finland Loves Saunas

October 2013 | Discover the history of the  authentic and traditional Finnish sauna experience.
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Sauna & Slow Wave Sleep

May 2023 | Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses how heat therapy has the potential to improve slow wave sleep. 

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Deliberate Heat Exposure

April 2022 | Dr. Andrew Huberman discusses how heat exposure impacts the body, and how to do it safely and properly for specific outcomes.
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Sauna & Depression

September 2021 | Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses nonpharmacological approaches for treating depression (incl. sauna), insomnia, and overeating. 

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Get Heat Adapted

July 2021 | How to get heat adapted BEFORE your next big event (sauna protocol & training). Purple Patch Podcast with Matt Dixon.
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Exercise Mimetic for Heart...

September 2019 | How sauna may help increase lifespan and improve overall health, based on compelling data from research studies. 
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Cardiovascular Study Review

August 2018 | Mayo Clinic Proceedings reviewed the evidence on cardiovascular and other health benefits of sauna bathing.
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Blood Pressure Risk Lowered

September 2017 | As a follow-up from research published by the University of Eastern Finland, sauna was found to reduce risk of elevated blood pressure.
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Sauna & Detoxification

March 2016 | Saunas have been shown to effectively remove "solvents, organic chemicals, PCBs, pharmaceuticals, and heaving metal toxins" by facilitating intense sweating.
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Sauna Impacts to the Body

May 2016 | Sauna has many studied benefits on longevity, health, immune function, and more. This is a great discussion and review of sauna studies. 
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Reduced Dementia Risk

December 2016 | Findings review of University of Eastern Finland study that links regular sauna use with lowered risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 
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Cardiovascular Study

April 2015 | Study on the association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events.
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Heavy Metals in Sweat

February 2012 | A systematic review of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat - their presence in sweat and impact on the body.
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Chromotherapy Analysis

December 2005 | A critical analysis of chromotherapy, use of visible spectrum (colors) to cure diseases and its scientific evolution.
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Chemical Sensitivity

Spring 1998 | Case study showing detoxification method (sauna therapy) after long term toxic chemical exposure at work. 
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