It’s no secret that heart health has become an issue in the United States. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the US with roughly 655,000 Americans dying from heart disease each year.
Top risk factors include high cholesterol, diabetes, and inactivity, with high blood pressure coming in first on the list.
If you want to mitigate high cholesterol and type two diabetes, a change in diet and lifestyle can help, but sauna time is the real powerhouse when it comes to tackling high blood pressure and even the effects of inactivity.
So what’s the secret?
Sauna time allows your body to relax and help you feel less stressed — a big win considering stress is the leading cause of high blood pressure. As for inactivity, you might be surprised to learn that sauna may be just as good for you as time spent in the gym.
We break it all down for you in this blog. If you want to be more heart healthy, here are three ways sauna time can help.
Do Saunas Improve Cardiovascular Health?
According to the CDC, 18.2 million adults have cardiovascular artery disease. And every year, 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack.
As the body’s most vital organ, it’s important to keep our cardiovascular systems strong and healthy. So how can sauna help?
A study done in Finland, assessed 1,628 adult men and women, without a recorded history of stroke, over the course of 15 years. As a part of the study, researchers kept track of how often these men and women used a sauna in a given week, with sessions being one, two to three, or four to seven times per week.
The 15-year, follow-up study showed that middle-aged to elderly men and women who used the sauna 4-7 times a week were 61% less likely to suffer a stroke than those taking a sauna once a week. Overall, those who had frequent sauna sessions had a substantially reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sauna May Be As Good As Exercise for the Heart
When you spend time in the heat of the sauna, it signals your body’s natural cooling process to kick on. The repeated heating and cooling processes your body undergoes promotes contraction and dilation of blood vessels. Thanks to sauna, blood vessels become stronger, better maintained, and healthier as a result. The higher temperature causes your heart rate to increase, which acts as a gentle form of exercise for the cardiovascular system. One study, conducted by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Medical Center Berlin (MCB), showed that the increase in heart rate is even comparable to the effect of a short, moderate workout.
If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, spend time in the sauna instead.
Stress can wreak havoc on the body in more ways than one. And when it comes to cardiovascular health, it’s important to keep stress levels managed.
Chronic stress has been shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure, making the heart work harder to produce the blood flow it needs for normal bodily functions. And if you have long-term elevations in blood pressure it can also lead to cardiovascular disease.
Thankfully, sauna time is a great way to help relieve any stress you may be feeling. It’s a healthy way to unwind, focus on mindfulness, and give your body time and space to relax. If you want to learn more, we cover five ways the benefits of sauna can help reduce stress and leave you feeling refreshed.
Ready for Your Next Sauna Session?
Focusing on cardiovascular health should be top of mind for all of us as it is vital to our health and existence. Take a little time out of your day to decompress and give your body some much needed heart healthy time too.Choose from a variety of sauna experiences here at Sauna House in Asheville, NC. We look forward to seeing you soon!