Three Decades Of Research Shows Sauna Bathing Is Hugely Beneficial For Longevity And Heart Disease

Over the past thirty years, scientists in Eastern Finland have been researching the effects of sauna bathing on thousands of men and women, and the results of their research are pretty incredible.

Known as the “Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study,” the research looked at how frequent sauna bathing as a leisurely activity affected common disease risks such as cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality. A few years ago, a paper was published that looked at the the dose-dependent effect sauna bathing had on the cohorts’ risk for sudden cardiac death, cardiovascular-related death, and fatal coronary heart disease. The dose was the amount of times the sauna was used in one week, and the amount of time each person tended to spend in the sauna.

The researchers concluded that men who used the sauna 2 to 3 times per week for about 15 to 20 minutes had an 18% reduction in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease, while those who went 4 to 7 times a week experienced a further 20% reduction in risk. Once this was published, more research shows the dose-dependent benefits of sauna use on stroke and hypertension.

A Finish sauna is typically a dry sauna at about 174 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) with 10% to 20% humidity coming from steam as the bathers typically throw water onto hot rocks. They found that the mean duration of sauna use is 19 minutes or more.

Being in the sauna helps lower the risk of disease because as the blood moves from your core to your skin to facilitate sweating in the hot environment of the sauna, your heart starts to beat faster, up to 150 beats per minute to encourage the sanguine migration, which is about the same as moderate intensity exercise.

In addition, men who went to the sauna four to seven times a week were found to have a 60% reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Who knew that being in the sauna could be so beneficial?

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