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13 Sauna Benefits for Your Wellness

A sauna is a popular feature of some high-end health clubs and spas, like the one at Blue Lake Casino Hotel. Some people even have a sauna installed in their homes so they can enjoy many different sauna benefits at any time they like.

Many people confuse a sauna with a steam room, but they are not the same thing. A sauna is a small room – and sometimes even a small building – that is heated to a high temperature. Usually, the thermostat is set between 80 degrees and 100 degrees. Unlike a steam room, a sauna does not have a high humidity level. Water can be poured over rocks to create some steam, but the overall humidity level is usually kept around 20 percent.

Typically, people sit inside the sauna for around 15-20 minutes. Some people enjoy the experience completely in the nude, while others keep a light wrap like a towel or wear a bathing suit.

Why Do People Use Saunas?

You may wonder why anyone would just sit quietly simmering in the blazing heat in a confined space. But there are actually many benefits to using a sauna. Whether you visit a sauna every now and then or you make a point to visit one regularly, you will enjoy many sauna benefits for both your mental and physical health.

Why Do People Use Saunas?

1. Mindful Relaxation

The most common reason that people choose to visit a sauna is that it can help them relax. The heat helps to soften the muscles and release tension. Sitting quietly for a prolonged time in the sauna also encourages introspection, which can improve mindfulness and help with ongoing stress-relief.

2. Improved Circulation

Exposure to increased heat causes the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to widen. The result is more blood flowing through larger pathways, which increases circulation throughout the body, resulting in numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health.

3. Stress Relief

As the heat in the sauna reduces muscle tension, it also helps to relieve stress. Mounting stress often results in stiffness and tension in the body, and reducing that helps to also reduce the stress you are feeling, whether it’s from a tough week at work or from chronic pressure.

4. Pain Relief

The combined benefits of improved circulation and reduced muscle tension also help to relieve pain in the body. Relaxed muscles do not feel as sore, and the improved blood flow helps speed up healing and recovery. Regular visits to the sauna can relieve pain in the muscles and joints.

5. Enhanced Endurance

Regular visits to the sauna can improve your heart health, helping it to get stronger and work more efficiently. It’s almost like you’re getting a workout without actually working out. When you do exercise, you’ll find that you have much greater endurance. You’ll be able to work out longer and harder without feeling as much stress.

6. Weight Loss

Spending time in a sauna can help to boost your metabolism. The heat causes changes in your body that mimic those of working out, such as increasing your heart rate. By increasing your metabolism, sauna therapy can also help you to lose weight.

Of course, you can’t just spend time in a sauna to counteract the effects of eating hamburgers and fries all the time. But adding time in the sauna to regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you trim down more quickly.

7. Mood Enhancement

With reduced tension in your body, reduced stress, and increased blood flow, your hormones can become better balanced, you can feel a greater sense of calm, and you can enjoy a more positive mood more often. Spending time in the sauna can help you stabilize your mood and feel generally more happy.

8. Better Sleep

If you go into a sauna shortly before bedtime, you will artificially raise your body temperature, which will cause a sudden drop as you leave, triggering sleepiness. The sauna will also help with melatonin production, which can enhance sleep. Add the other sauna benefits of reducing stress and muscle tension and you can expect to get a great night’s sleep.

9. Skin Health

Increased blood flow can make your skin softer and plumper, giving you a more vibrant and youthful look. If you get any steam in your sauna, it can also open and clear the pores, giving your complexion a bright and beautiful glow.

10. Immune System Support

Heat therapy can support your immune system. The increased circulation can help to remove waste products from your body more quickly and speed the delivery of immune cells. By raising your body’s core temperature, the sauna also makes it easier for your body to fight viruses and to resist illness.

11. Respiratory Benefits

Studies have shown that saunas can help improve respiratory function. In fact, spending time in the sauna has even been shown to improve the symptoms of asthma and chronic bronchitis. Improved respiratory health also has ancillary benefits, such as improved heart health and better sleep.

12. Pain Management

Beyond helping to relieve tension and soreness in muscles, sauna therapy has been shown to help with pain management in all areas of the body. Those with chronic pain and even arthritis have experienced relief through routine visits to the sauna.

13. Detoxification

Being in a sauna will make you sweat plenty. Along with that sweat will be plenty of toxins that your body no longer needs. Regular sauna therapy can help your body with detoxification, which can help you to resist illness and feel better.

Sauna Safety Precautions

Though there are many sauna benefits, there are also some safety precautions that you must keep in mind, just as you would with any activity. Some people will need to avoid being in a sauna entirely, but others will just need to be mindful of certain considerations. 

Here are some safety precautions to remember for the sauna:

Stay Hydrated

Being in the sauna is going to make you sweat – a lot. If you’re not careful, you could end up losing too much water through sweating. If you go to the sauna after working out, you exacerbate this risk. Make sure you drink plenty of water before you head into the sauna, and drink plenty of water when you leave. You don’t want to undermine the benefits of being in the sauna by becoming dehydrated.

How Long to Stay in a Sauna

You don’t need to be in a sauna for long in order to enjoy the benefits this therapy offers. Most recommendations suggest spending about 15-20 minutes in the sauna. If you like, and your schedule permits, you can do so every day. 

When you are just starting out with the sauna, you may not have the tolerance to stay for this long. In that case, you may want to start with just 5-10 minutes in the sauna. You’ll enjoy the same benefits, and you’ll soon build your tolerance to stay in the sauna for longer. Those who have become accustomed to sauna therapy can spend as many as 30 minutes in the sauna, though spending any more time than that is not recommended.

Who Should Avoid Saunas?

Some people are not good candidates for sauna therapy because of their health. It is always advisable to talk with your doctor before starting any kind of health therapy or exercise, and that includes going to the sauna. 

The following people should avoid going to the sauna:

  • Anyone who has recently experienced a stroke or heart attack
  • Those with serious heart problems
  • Those with high or low blood pressure
  • Those with kidney disease
  • Those who are pregnant

Children should also stay out of the sauna. Men who are concerned about their fertility should also avoid the sauna as some studies have shown a link between regular sauna use and lowered sperm production. 

When in doubt, always talk with your doctor before starting sauna therapy. If you are in the sauna and anything feels off, leave. Be careful not to jump into cold water or take any other measures to rapidly change your body temperature as this could always cause health consequences.

Relax in the Sauna at Blue Lake Casino Hotel

The Spa at Blue Lake Casino Hotel offers a variety of therapeutic services to help you look and feel your best, including a Sunlighten M-Pulse infrared sauna. Enjoy a relaxing visit to the sauna each day of your trip and return home feeling fully rejuvenated. We offer packages that include the sauna and other services, such as aqua massage or a body slimming cellulite wrap. 

Of course, you can also book numerous other services in our spa, ranging from beauty treatments like facials, eyelash extensions, and filler to body treatments like massage, EmSculpt, and cryotherapy. We offer numerous laser treatments for different needs, such as skin rejuvenation, hair removal, and tattoo removal. We offer dozens of treatments to meet your needs, and we make sure to pamper you every step of the way, even including mimosas if you choose. Contact us today to make your appointment!