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The Science Behind Saunas

Researchers have found sauna sessions lead to greatly lower risks of heart diseases


What's going on?

Things are heating up in the scientific world about saunas. Steam rooms, which are set to 176 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, are a popular pastime for individuals looking to unwind and relax. According to Finnish researcher Jari Laukannen, there are lasting health benefits to visiting saunas regularly.


Laukannen conducted a study among 2,315 healthy Finnish men and discovered those who visited the sauna four to seven times a week were less likely to suffer from a plethora of heart diseases – namely heart attacks, fatal coronary disease, and cardiovascular disease. Further results showed that four visits a week to the steam room led to a 60% less risk of stroke compared to those who went once a week. It was also reported that people who frequently visit saunas experience less pain from arthritis and headaches, improved lung function, and lasting feelings of relaxation.


The science behind the benefits is that visiting saunas require a similar output from the body as would a high-intensity activity such as running. As a result, the increased body temperature improves blood circulation and blood flow to internal organs. With this finding, Laukannen hopes to add more detailed research to this field of study to extend the benefit of steam rooms for others.