Is sauna healthy ? All the answers are here.

While doing research for my “Cold showers, ice baths & winter swimming” article, I’ve read an amazing book written by Dr. Susanna Søberg called “Winter Swimming: The Nordic Way Towards a Healthier and Happier Life”. I was even more happy when I found out that it covers Sauna and it’s dangers and benefits as well. Please make sure you’ll buy her book and support her work the same way I did, most of the topics from the book are not covered in this article as there are too many of them, simply click on the picture at the end of this article.  


Sauna and the immune system

Like winter swimming, taking a sauna raises oxidative stress by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to improved antioxidative capacity. A study from 1988 evaluated the early evidence and found that sauna use had a direct effect on the respiraory tract and lung tissue, including an improvement in breathing and lung function in patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis. A further study suggests that sauna use improved lung function in twelve male participants with obstructive pulmonary disease, and another observed that sauna use reduced the occurrence of colds by 50 per cent.


Health benefits of the sauna

  • lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly due to less overall inflammation in the body, which reduces atherosclerosis
  • reduces the risk of dementia
  • reduces the risk of lung disease
  • increases well-being and calm, promotes a healthy mental balance due to endorphins
  • may lower the risk of death from heart failure and other causes when used more than once a week for a maximum of nineteen minutes per session
  • may lower risk of death from heart failure further if cardiovascular exercise twice a week is combined with sauna use three to seven times a week
  • may reduce the risk of blood clots by 50 per cent with sauna use three to four times a week

Sauna can be also dangerous

  • overheating – a tingling in the fingers, ears and skin, and/or hyperventilating
  • if you don’t drink enough water before, during and after the sauna
  • if you have been drinking alcohol
  • if you suffer from cardiovascular disease, irregular heart rate, high or low blood
    pressure, fever, cancer, skin disorders (with or without inflammation), or are in treat-
    ment for blood clots or varicose veins
  • if you have respiratory infections
  • if you take medicines that can activate the sympathetic nervous system, as they can
    induce cardiac arrhythmia



Take care, talk to you soon.



Disclaimer: Author talks about his experience only, when thinking about trying sauna, doing ice baths and showering with cold water you’ll need to see and try for yourself how your body responds and if in any doubt about your current health status always consult with a licensed physician. This web site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician.




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