When most people think about using a sauna, they will likely think about benefits such as weight loss or post-exercise recovery. What these same people may not be aware of is the fact that there are a whole range of other benefits that they can enjoy just from implementing this simple practice on a regular basis. The great thing about this day and age is that there is more and more research out there in regards to this topic, so people can easily educate themselves about these potential benefits.
This can be incredibly important as every person, of course, wants to live a long life where they are as healthy as they can be for as long as they can be. As heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women (with more than half of people who die from this disease been men), it is clear that people must take active steps in order to avoid this outcome. As this is a topic that is so important, this post will look at how regular sauna usage may aid in reducing the risk of a cardiac event.
Decreasing the chance of a sudden cardiac death (SCD) and fatal cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
As the rates of heart disease are so high, there is currently a lot of money been spent on research to figure out why this phenomenon is occurring. Depending on who you talk to, some say that this is because of diet and obesity and then there are others that believe it is because of chronic stress. But whatever the case may be, the general consensus is that this can be treated and/or prevented with medications such as baby aspirin.
But as most people are aware, all medications will have side-effects and sometimes will drastically interfere with people’s lives. As this can be the case, it might be better for individuals to take a proactive approach so they can edit their lifestyle to give themselves the best chance. For example, a study in Finland found that men who used a sauna 2-3 times a week compared to one time a week reduced the risk of SCD by 22% and those who sauna bathed 4-7 times a week reduced the risk by 63%. This research is extremely promising and is something that needs to be replicated across the genders and different cultures and countries.
How exactly does sauna bathing aid with reducing the risk of a cardiac event?
As previously mentioned, this study in Finland found promising results such as a reduction in CVD death by 27% for men who bathed 2-3 times per week and a 50% reduction for those who bathed 4-7 times per week compared to those who used once per week. But the number of times each week wasn’t the only thing at play here as the time spent in a sauna also made a difference with SCD reduced by 7% for sessions ranging from 11-19 minutes and a 52% reduction for sessions lasting more than 19 minutes.
While these results show that there is a possible association between the reduction of cardiac events and sauna usage, this doesn’t explain why. It could be something to do with the prolonged exposure to heat or it could simply be the fact that people are taking time out of their busy week to relax. Whatever the reason may be, it is safe to say that sauna bathing regularly is something that is extremely beneficial when it comes to longevity.