Saunas provide a range of health-related benefits by affecting different parts of your body. For instance, they promote the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels, enhancing blood circulation. Simultaneously, saunas open the pores of the skin, aiding in the elimination of toxins and impurities, thereby detoxifying the skin.
For those looking more to use their sauna for heart health, though, research predominantly centers around its significance in comparison to its other health benefits. These sessions contribute to improved cardiovascular health, reduced arterial stiffness, and enhanced cardiovascular respiratory fitness levels. Additionally, saunas have been shown to lower the risk of myocardial infarction, coronary death, and sudden death.
Nevertheless, like any other activities, sauna sessions should be customised to maximise the benefits for heart health. Therefore, we have outlined a routine below that you can tailor to fit your lifestyle.
What Is The Ideal Temperature?
The optimal temperature range to maximise the benefits of your sauna sessions for heart health is around 55 °C (131 F). At this temperature, you can experience various cardiometabolic benefits and improvements in cardiac function, including a reduction in ventricular arrhythmia. Infrared saunas are an ideal choice that operates within this temperature range.
How Long Should You Stay In The Sauna?
If you are new to sauna use, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body acclimates. As a beginner, it’s advisable to begin with a session lasting around 10 minutes, which can be gradually extended to 20 minutes over time.
What Activities Should You Pair Your Sauna Session With?
Combine sauna sessions with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching. These practices can enhance the stress-reducing benefits of saunas, positively impacting your heart health.
Further, you could also incorporate your sauna routine with regular physical exercise for comprehensive heart health. Cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling can complement the benefits of sauna sessions, promoting overall cardiovascular fitness.
Additionally, staying hydrated is crucial, as you will sweat a lot in the sauna. Maintaining proper hydration is essential for a safe and effective sauna experience.
What Should You Avoid?
To enhance the benefits of your sauna session, it’s advisable to refrain from consuming alcohol for at least 24 hours before entering the sauna. Alcohol can contribute to dehydration, and when combined with the heat stress of a sauna, it may strain the cardiovascular system.
Similarly, coffee can also lead to dehydration, so it’s important to avoid consuming it right before entering a sauna.
What Else Should You Consider While Using Sauna For Heart Health?
Monitor Your Body’s Response
Safety and well-being should always be prioritised during sauna sessions. Therefore, monitor how your body responds to sauna sessions. If you experience dizziness, discomfort, or any unusual symptoms, it is recommended to exit the sauna and consult with a healthcare professional.
Consult With A Health Professional
Before incorporating regular sauna sessions into your routine, consulting with a doctor can provide more insight on how you should personalise your sauna sessions, especially if you have pre-existing heart conditions or concerns.
Remember, the key is to listen to your body, adapt your routine accordingly, and enjoy the journey toward a healthier heart.
If you’re considering giving saunas a go, we’re here to assist you in selecting the best option suited to your needs.