Post-Workout Sauna Might Boost Your Health Even More•
Posted on February 04 2023
That's the main finding of research out of Finland. It found taking a sauna confers additional cardiovascular benefits over exercise alone.
The new study didn’t look at how saunas can boost heart health, but other studies have elucidated these benefits. It has been shown "that some of the cardiovascular responses from sauna bathing are comparable to moderate intensity exercise, at least acutely,” said study author Earric Lee, a researcher in the faculty of sport and health sciences at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. The sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture, and there are more saunas than cars in Finland, he said.
People who took a sauna after exercising had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels than those who didn’t, the study found. Specifically, systolic blood pressure — the upper number in a blood pressure reading — fell by almost 9 mm Hg, and total cholesterol levels went from high to the acceptable range among folks who took a sauna after exercise.
For the eight-week study, 47 fairly sedentary adults, aged 30 to 64, were divided into three groups: resistance and aerobic exercise three times a week for 50 minutes per session; resistance and aerobic exercise three times a week for 50 minutes per session followed by a 15-minute sauna; or no exercise or sauna. Aerobic activity like running or brisk walking gets your heart pumping while resistance exercise builds muscles.