Strengthen Your Heart Without Moving a Muscle

Woman inside the sauna

Saunas: the only time where sitting still can make your fitter. And it’s no idle claim, either. According to Grand Spa, a popular spa in L.A., saunas get rid of the toxins in the skin. It also relieves muscle pain, relaxes the mind, and increases heart rate for improved circulation.

Improved Heart Health

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that sauna bathing reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death. In fact, participants who used the sauna two to three times a week were 22% less likely to die from a heart disease than those who used the sauna only once a week; those who used the sauna four to six times every week were 63% less at risk of dying of a heart disease than those who used the sauna only once a week.

The More Trips, The Better

A 2007 study published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Cardiology had similar results. The symptoms of 13 out 15 congestive heart failure patients improved after four weeks of daily sauna bathing. The researchers posit that the improved heart health can be attributed to the increase in heart rate to 150 beats per minute, which allows the heart to pump more blood into the body and the blood vessels to widen. This improves circulation and reduces the risk of developing heart problems.

Dr. Luke Fortney, a professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin, adds that sauna therapy relaxes the mind. Lowered stress levels can also reduce heart problems.

Limitations to This Healthy Habit

Not every patient is recommended to immediately hit the sauna, though. People with low blood pressure or kidney diseases should consult their doctors before using saunas. Furthermore, although it strengthens the body, saunas must be used moderately. Dr. Fortney recommends 15 to 30 minutes of staying in the sauna three to four times a week.

Saunas have a huge impact on heart health. It cannot, however, replace a good diet and regular exercise. It can only be a complement to a healthy routine. For a healthier body, one must eat well, exercise, and of course, sweat it out.