Sauna for Heart Health

sauna va beach

We’ve got some great news for you regarding keeping your heart healthy with the regular use of a sauna. A recently released report from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)* cites an astounding Finnish study on “the effect of repeated sauna use on the cardiovascular system.” The study focused on 2, 315 men (middle-aged) throughout a 21-year period of time. The investigators looked at how the study’s participants’ heart health changed based on how often they used a traditional Finnish sauna. The results are rather remarkable:

  • 2% of participants less likely to have a sudden cardiac “event” – Those using the sauna two to three times per week (compared to those using it once a week)
  • 63% of participants less likely to have a sudden cardiac “event” – Those using a sauna four or more times a week!
  • The longer they stayed in the sauna the less likely they were to die of sudden death (52 %).
  • 23% of participants less likely to die from coronary artery disease (CAD) – those who “sauna-ed” 2 to 3 times per week. And since CAD is a leading cause of death in men and the number one killer of women, this is an important finding!
  • Those who used the sauna four or more times per week lowered their risk of dying from CAD by a phenomenal 48%
  • Lower risks of heart-related deaths were seen across a spectrum of risk factors including: high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and older age

So, how does a sauna actually improve your heart health?

  • It’s relaxing! Sitting in a sauna relaxes not just your body but your heart and mind. This is a very good thing! And…this relaxation effect can not only help your body release stress and toxins, it can also lower blood pressure and mitigate the risk of abnormal heart rhythm issues.
  • Spending time with family is good for your heart! We are social beings and having and maintaining strong, health social relationships can help you live longer. In fact, staying connected and finding ways to do this (can you say “Sauna”?) is instrumental in living a long, fruitful life. Sauna is a nice way to spend time with those you love – relaxing and connecting.
  • Keeps your ticker ticking! Have you ever noticed that being in a heated environment can make your heart rate speed up? Well, saunas can have this impact and it’s a good thing. The increased heart-rate response mimics that observed with cardiovascular exercise training.
  • And finally, sitting in a sauna can lower blood pressure through improving something called “endothelial function” or the “ability of the blood vessels to relax and expand (dilate)”. People sitting in a sauna experienced greater endothelial function. In other words – better and more efficient circulation = lower blood pressure. Lose the endothelial function and you open yourself up to potential heart problems.

Let’s face it, the relaxation effect in and of itself can do so much good for your heart – not to mention your mind! We have a great line of Finleo saunas – come in and talk to us and we’ll have you sauna “soaking” in no time!

*Laukkanen T, Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen JA. “Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events”. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):542-548. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187.

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