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Saunas Boost Men’s Heart Health & Survival

Jennifer Bliss

According to researchers in Finland, men who use saunas are less likely to die from heart disease and can even lower their risk when they use saunas on a regular basis! (1) Men who spend several days a week using saunas were less likely to die of heart problems compared to those who only visited the sauna once a week. (2)

At least 2,000 middle-aged men, between the ages of 42 and 60, in eastern Finland have taken part in this study for more than 20 years and it was discovered that when men use saunas and the longer they stayed, they lower their risk for sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease, and fatal cardiovascular disease. (1)

Frequent use of sauna appeared to lower a man’s overall risk of death

Men who visited the saunas 2 to 3 times per week had a 24 percent lower risk of death and those who went 4 to 7 times per week had a 40 percent reduction. In addition, the amount of time spent in the sauna also made a difference. When compared to men who spent less than 11 minutes in the sauna, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 7 percent lower for sauna sessions of 11 to 19 minutes, and 52 percent less for sessions lasting more than 19 minutes. (1,2)

It’s not completely clear why men’s health have increased benefits for those who have taken up the sauna habit, but it could be a combination of factors. Sauna causes your heart rate to go up, your heart muscle to squeeze more vigorously, and your body temperature to increase. (1) Saunas are so relaxing and has been known to reduce stress and increase leisure time while engaging with other people can provide the ‘perfect recipe’ to decrease cardiovascular disease. (1,2)

Previous research has suggested that saunas improve blood vessel function, exercise capacity, and lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. (2) This new study has found that long, hot sauna baths tallied fewer deaths from heart attacks, strokes, various heart-related conditions and other causes. (3)

Traditional Finnish sauna has dry air with humidity kept between 10 and 20 percent while the temperature is set between 176 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (1,3)

Sauna bathing is a common habit in Finland, which aren’t considered a luxury item. That explains why almost everyone has access to a sauna, even in people’s private homes. (1,2,3)

Even though researchers feel similar results could take place for women who use saunas, further studies are needed to show the effects of sauna among women and the different age groups. (3)

Sources for this article include: