Have you ever had the pleasure of using a sauna? In my opinion, nothing is more reinvigorating! Saunas provide a deep, healthy sweat every day. Tension fades. Muscles unwind. Mentally, we emerge relaxed, revived, and ready for whatever the day may bring.
A few minutes a day is all it takes to look and feel better. The body’s response to gentle, persistent heat is well-documented. Here are some of purifying benefits of using a sauna*:
• Stress relief: Heat bathing in a sauna provides stress relief in a number of ways. It’s a warm, quiet space without distractions coming from the outside. The heat from the sauna relaxes the body's muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins — the body’s all-natural "feel good" chemical — and their release provides a truly wonderful "after sauna glow.”
• Cardiovascular benefits: Using sauna 2-3 times per week at 174 degrees F reduces risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by 27% and 4-7 times per week reduces risk by 50%.
• Reduced risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) with regular sauna use. A 3-month study of bi-weekly sauna use showed reduced occurrence of high blood pressure.
• Recovery after intense physical activity. Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints. After participating in physical sports, use the heat and/or steam of a sauna to promote muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid and/or other toxins that may be present. (Note that the J requires a 15-minute break/cool down between your workout and entering the sauna.)
• Saunas flush toxins. Many — if not most — of us do not actively sweat on a daily basis. Deep sweating has multiple proven health benefits, which can be achieved via regular sauna bathing. Deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemical — which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.
• Saunas can induce a deeper sleep. Research has shown that a deeper, more relaxed sleep can result from sauna use. In addition to the release of endorphins, body temperatures, which become elevated in the late evening, fall at bedtime. This slow, relaxing decline in endorphins is key in facilitating sleep.
• Sauna cleanses the skin. Heat bathing is one of the oldest beauty and/or health strategies in terms of cleansing one's skin. When the body begins to produce sweat via deep sweating, the skin is then cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced.
• Saunas burn calories. While some individuals may experience high amounts of calorie burn at first — particularly those individuals in poor shape to begin with — over the long term, saunas are simply treated as one of many tools in our arsenal when it comes to burn additional calories.
*Individuals with the following conditions should not use the sauna unless authorized by their physician: high blood pressure; heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, stress and/or emotional disorders, epilepsy or seizure disorders, pregnant, or other health concerns. If you are not certain that you should use the sauna, please consult your physician.
The J is excited to announce that as of Monday, October 8th, the saunas in the Men's and Women's Locker Rooms are open! We hope you'll come relax and enjoy the health benefits!