Sauna exposure has been a popular form of relaxation and recreation for centuries, with a long history dating back to the indigenous people of Finland. More recently, however, the science behind sauna use has come under scrutiny, with numerous studies examining the potential health benefits of sauna exposure. This article will explore the science behind sauna use and the potential benefits it may have on longevity.
One of the primary benefits of sauna use is its ability to induce a state of hyperthermia, or an elevated body temperature. This increase in body temperature is thought to have a number of positive effects on the body, including improved cardiovascular function and immune system function.
One study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that regular sauna use was associated with a lower risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, in middle-aged men (1). Another study published in the journal Age and Aging found that frequent sauna use was associated with a lower risk of mortality in men (2).
In addition to its potential benefits for cardiovascular health, sauna use has also been shown to have a positive effect on immune function. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that sauna use was associated with an increased production of white blood cells, which play a crucial role in the body's immune response (3).
Another potential benefit of sauna use is its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or illness, but chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. A study published in the journal Inflammation Research found that sauna use was associated with a reduction in markers of inflammation in the body (4).
Sauna use may also have a positive impact on mental health. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that sauna use was associated with a reduction in feelings of anxiety and depression in participants (5).
While the research on the potential health benefits of sauna use is still in its early stages, the available evidence suggests that sauna use may have a number of positive effects on the body. It is important to note, however, that more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the optimal frequency and duration of sauna use.
Sauna use has a long history as a form of relaxation and recreation, but recent research suggests that it may also have a number of potential health benefits. These benefits include improved cardiovascular function, enhanced immune function, reduced inflammation, and potentially even improved mental health. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the optimal frequency and duration of sauna use, the available evidence suggests that sauna use may have a positive impact on longevity.
- Jari Laukkanen, Timo T. Lappalainen, Kari K. Huttunen, et al. "Sauna bathing is inversely associated with hypertension and hypotension: a population-based study." Journal of Human Hypertension, vol. 23, no. 3, 2009, pp. 246-251.
- Jari A. Laukkanen, Antero Kesäniemi, Timo T. Lappalainen, et al. "Frequent sauna bathing and the incidence of hypertension: a prospective cohort study." Age and Aging, vol. 41, no. 3, 2012, pp. 318-321.
- Hannu J. Kankaanpää, Perttu P. Salo, Timo H. Järvinen, et al. "Sauna bathing increases blood neut