Benefits and Risks that Come From Spending Time in Sauna
Steam bath, or sauna brings many health benefits, and it is commonly used for therapy. Now there are saunas at almost any spa or health center, as well as in many gym, and they are great for relaxation as well as for mental and physical rest, or even a social event, as it can be shared with a social group. After a strenuous workout, there’s nothing like spending some quiet time in a sauna to relax your muscles and mind. Sauna can also be used as one of the ways to stay fit, as it helps increase circulation through the body.
1. Health benefits
Sauna provides not just physical but spiritual benefits as well. Thanks to the heat it emits, it can relax you mentally and help you meditate or relieve stress. The Finnish, Japanese and American cultures commonly go to saunas and they truly know how to enjoy everything it gives them. If you simply enjoyed spending time in saunas, but didn’t actually know what it can do for your health, here are some of the benefits you can experience.
2. A younger-looking skin
Spending a couple of minutes in sauna helps your skin get rid of the toxins and impurities, causing it to lock cleaner and younger. All the chemicals your pores have collected due to spending time in traffic and exposing yourself to polluted air get extracted, and you exit the sauna looking and feeling much better and fresher. If you practice this frequently, you will stay young-looking for a long time and nobody will be able to guess your age once you become older.
3. Better functioning of the kidneys and liver
Similarly to helping you get rid of the toxins and chemicals from your skin, sauna can help your body get rid of the harmful substances. Your liver and kidneys react positively to the heat and sweating and they can metabolize the substances you have taken in more effectively. Also, as sauna improves your circulation, and the blood can move throughout your whole body with more ease, all your organs become more functional.
4. Sauna can alleviate physical conditions
Sauna is commonly used for therapy for people who are suffering from various physical conditions. Spending some time in sauna can help you reduce the symptoms of allergies, skin conditions, chemical sensitivities and even arthritis. In some cases, sauna is also used to treat people suffering from cardiovascular conditions.
5. Sauna has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties
If you’ve been infected with bacteria, virus or fungi, you should know that heat can help you get better. These harmful organisms are able to develop in your body when your body temperature is low, so spending time in a heated room such as a sauna can help you increase your body temperature and help your body fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi. Whether your eyes, ears, throat, sinuses or intestines are affected (or all these body parts), sauna can help you heal.
6. Health risks
Although there are numerous health benefits you can experience from spending time in sauna, there are also some health risks that come with it. Negative side effects occur most commonly due to negligent use of sauna. Some people tend to spend more time than recommended in sauna, and their bodies suffer the consequences.
Spending too much time in sauna can cause dehydration, and depending on the excess amount of time, it can range from mild to severe. Experiencing severe dehydration can lead to bodily organs becoming unable to function properly, and it can also lead to loss of consciousness and fainting.
8. Dry air
Although sauna can help you treat your physical conditions, and it can be great for your nose and sinuses, as it can clear your airways, spending too much time there can make it difficult for you to breathe properly, as the air can get pretty dry, even though the entire environment is quite moist.
9. Reproductive problems in men
As you know, it can get quite hot in a sauna. As the body temperature raises, it raises on all the parts, including the reproductive ones. If a man spends a significant amount of time in sauna and lets the temperature stay warm on the reproductive organs, it can cause reproductive problems. These problems can reverse after a few week period of not using sauna, though.
10. Saunas are sometimes not completely sanitary and do not kill harmful organisms
If a sauna is kept clean at all times and not many people use it daily, it could provide benefits such as killing harmful organisms and relieving physical conditions. However, in such a warm and moist environment, it can be easy for harmful organisms to grow and thrive. There were several cases of people who developed a reversible physical condition due to spending time in an unsanitary sauna. If you’re frequently using the sauna, make sure that it’s always clean and that people take care of their personal hygiene before they enter.
11. Using sauna while under the influence of alcohol can have serious negative effects
You should never enter a sauna if you have previously been drinking. Alcohol leads to dehydration, and combining that with the air in the sauna, which possibly makes you even more dehydrated, can lead to fainting, loss of breath and a generally bad physical health which may even result in having to be hospitalized.