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Saunas and Longevity

Written by wpwp

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Posted on March 10 2023

Currently there is no one panacea that works as a fountain of youth, most of the factors seeming to lead to a good long life are well known; eat healthy, get regular exercise, keep a close and positive social group, etc. However, is it possible that sauna use could be one overlooked factor to help keep us in good shape and for longer? Certainly a number of people think so and science is now backing it up.

Dr. Jari A. Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland co-authored a study showing that sauna use in combination with exercise helps us love longer with better heart health. This study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. For 20 years, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland followed the health of 2,300 middle-aged men. One category of study was how long and often the men used the sauna every week. Over time there were some surprising findings. The researchers found that 49% of men who went to a sauna just once a week died, while 38% of the men who visited the sauna two to three times a week died, and only 31% of the men who went four to seven times a week passed away. Sauna use was most correlated with fewer strokes and heart attacks.

This supports research demonstrating why regular sauna use is so good for us.

Arteries
We have previously looked at the benefits to artery health on this website. Sauna use helps to increase arterial compliance as well as lower blood pressure. This means that arteries remain more elastic and less stiff. Studies have shown that this works in a similar way to regular exercise.

Exercise ability
Exercise is important to keep our bodies vital, however for some exercise is increasingly difficult as we age. Studies have shown that sauna use increases our abilities to exert ourselves. People with heart, leg, or vascular issues have been shown to have an increased capacity for simple exercise such as walking.

Heart Failure
In one study 149 patients suffering from advanced congestive heart failure received either infrared sauna treatment and half did not. Ten days later the ones who used infrared sauna demonstrated an increased ability to walk further, breath normally, and had healthier hearts.

Blood pressure
Sauna impacts blood pressure in a similar way to exercise. In Finland, a study showed that 30 minutes of sauna on 102 people dropped diastolic and systolic blood pressure an average of 7 or 8 points each. In a larger study of 1600 middle ages men over 20 years it was demonstrated that regular sauna use cut the risk of high blood pressure in half with taking other factors into account.

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