Hitting the sauna after being in the pool or after a good workout can feel amazing. It’s relaxing, and for ages has been seen as a great way to unwind and boost your overall wellness.
There is more good news though. According to CTV News, “Multiple studies are suggesting that enjoying a good sweat can also help to stave off heart disease, stroke and even dementia.”
A study, conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, that tracked over 2,300 men for a little over two decades found that those who used saunas regularly had a whopping 63 percent lesser chance of death from heart attacks and strokes than those who did not.
The more often men went to the sauna, the more dramatic the results. The researchers noticed that the sauna sessions led to improved blood flow and blood pressure, as well as heart function.
The practice, which scientists have coined as “passive heat therapy,” raises the body’s core temperature, which leads to better blood flow.
"The main theory is that really, it resembles exercise," Gagnon said. "When we get hot, our heart rate increases, our blood vessels dilate or open up in the skin,” said Daniel Gagnon, a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute.
"If we can just give simple lifestyle habits to individuals that they can use on a day-to-day basis, I think that would be very powerful.”
As for its effect on the brain? The study reported results of "66 per cent reduction in cases of dementia and Alzheimer's disease."
Next time you're ready to rush right past the sauna, think again. Sweat it out a little longer, your heart and brain will thank you later.
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