Detox. De-stress. Burn calories. Glowing skin. Energy boost. Lowered blood pressure. Relief from sore joints. Improved mood, etc. These are all benefits of having a good sweat. The most obvious way we can achieve a good sweat is during physical exertion like exercise. However, today I’d like to introduce you to a less active way to sweat and that is through sitting in a sauna.
There are several types of saunas but some of the more common ones are:
Wet/Steam Saunas – A steam sauna heats water to create pressurized steam; rooms are typically heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dry Saunas – Known as traditional saunas creates heat from a wood burning stove where water is poured with a ladle over lava rocks above it. Many of the wood stoves have been replaced with electric stoves that heat the rocks. This type of sauna uses heat to warm the air. These can be heated up to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
Infrared Saunas – This type of sauna uses light to create heat up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The light mimics the sun without the harmful UV waves. In this sauna your body is heated directly and not the heat around you.
Saunas are very popular in Finland. It has been reported that there are over 700,000 saunas there. Most family houses have saunas built on the lot.
The body has a very positive response when exposed to heat by saunas. Blood vessels in the skin dilate to allow more blood to flow to the surface. Sweat glands are activated and the fluid in the blood hydrates the sweat gland moving the water to the skin’s surface.
There are many companies selling saunas for home use. They are also found in most gyms. Saunas are not intended to replace exercise but are a nice addition to your health routine if you have the opportunity!