After the excitement of Christmas and New Years is over, wintry-cold further sets in leaving us with short days and no lack of the common cold/flu being spread around. In lieu of being tempted to book another tropical getaway, try relaxing in a sauna to remedy the winter blues and get much needed health benefits. Here are 5 reasons to start using a sauna this winter.
1. Fight the Common Cold or Flu
As I mentioned before, there is no shortage of common cold/flu viruses being passed around in winter. Studies have suggested a relationship between frequent visit to a sauna and a boosted immune system. White blood cells are actually produced at a higher rate at high temperatures. This can drastically reduce your chance of catching the common cold and flu.
2. Cleanse the Body
Sweating is crucial to allowing your skin to rejuvenate and release toxins. If you don’t sweat through a regular exercise routine, relaxing in a sauna is a great way to flush lead, copper, mercury and other trace chemicals from the skin, leaving it clean and refreshed.
3. Pain Management
Regular sauna bathing has shown to relieve musculoskeletal and arthritic pain symptoms, which can be made worse in winter. This can also include common pain that most of us endure daily, such as neck pain from looking down at our computer screens all day. In general, winter leaves our muscles tight and achy. The heat from a sauna penetrates deep down into your muscles allowing them to relax and easy your pain.
4. Healthy Mind
If you are like me, winter makes me fall out of my normal routine. Getting up early, being productive at work, eating healthy, working out all seem to become less important. I would rather eat a heavy meal, stay in bed as long as I can in the morning, and choose to sit on the couch and watch TV instead of working out. This has a serious affect on my and others mood. Luckily, being in a sauna causes our bodies to release endorphins, which work as a natural mood booster. People also notice their energy levels to be higher throughout the day after just 10 minutes in a sauna. Higher energy and a good mood from a sauna will keep you going through the cold months.
5. Better Sleep
Finally, regular sauna visits will help you get sufficient rest at night and feeling refreshed in the morning. Having the increase in endorphins in your body from your visit to the sauna earlier in the day will also give you better sleep. It has been found having a spike and then decrease in endorphins as we get closer to bed, often gives us a deeper and more rejuvenating sleep. Also, having more energy during the day and accomplishing more usually allows us to rest better at night.
Remember to always stay safe when using a sauna:
- Limit your use to generally 15-20 minutes a day
- Avoid quickly cooling down after, which can cause circulatory distress. Gradually cool down.
- Avoid alcohol before or after using a sauna
- Re-hydrate your body with cool water afterwards
- If you don’t feel well while in the sauna, make sure you exit and seek help if needed
As the festive buzz of Christmas and New Year fades, the chill of winter intensifies, leaving us with brief daylight hours and a prevalent bout of colds and flu. Instead of succumbing to the impulse of planning yet another tropical escape, consider an alternative: unwinding in a sauna. Not only does this offer respite from the winter doldrums, but it also comes with a host of valuable health advantages. As we navigate the winter months, ponder these five compelling reasons to embrace the soothing warmth and therapeutic benefits of a sauna experience.