Perhaps you've wondered what the health benefits are of sweatin’ it out in the sauna. With a new resurgence of saunas you don’t even have to join a health club to reap the benefits. Boutique sauna studios are popping up from coast to coast, where people are invited to slip into plush robes and sweat it out solo or with a friend for the price of a spin class. Why does it seem like everyone in the wellness world swears by a daily sweat session in a heated room?
As it turns out, the Finns were onto something when they invented the sauna over 2,000 years ago. Not only does sweating in a sauna ease tension and stress, but it also helps our bodies release toxins and impurities. While beneficial on their own, taking a sauna regularly during the 21-Day Cleanse helps maximize waste elimination for improved health and vitality.
Traditional vs. Infrared Saunas
When we talk about saunas, it’s important to understand that there are a few different types. Traditional wood-burning saunas, which are hot and dry, have been used for thousands of years as a way to promote relaxation and cardiovascular health. There are also electric saunas that use an electric heater attached to the floor to create a similar effect. Dry saunas work by creating intense heat in a room, which causes a person’s body to heat up, leading to sweating.
Infrared saunas are the hottest (no pun intended) new trend in wellness. Rather than heating the entire room, an infrared sauna uses light waves to penetrate a person’s skin and heat the cells of the body directly. This causes the fat molecules to vibrate, encouraging the release of toxins and promoting deeper detoxification through sweating.
The Health Benefits of Saunas
Our bodies have many different ways of eliminating toxins. As our largest detox organ, the skin plays an important role. The body flushes toxins through the skin in the form of sweat, of which the average person loses about a pint during a brief stint in the sauna.
By spending time in the sauna, you can expect to feel more relaxed, sleep better, and find relief from sore muscles. As the body’s core temperature rises, the heart rate quickens, nearly doubling the amount of blood it pumps each minute, improving blood circulation. Healthy blood circulation is especially important while cleansing as the blood carries toxins to the liver for processing.
An increased heart rate also causes a slightly higher calorie burn, which can help you lose weight whether you’re on the Cleanse or off.
Another benefit of the Cleanse that’s boosted by a sweat session in the sauna: glowing skin. When the heat created by a sauna boosts your heart rate, blood flow, and circulation, it causes your pores to get bigger. Sweat flushes out the toxins hiding in your pores, leading to less congestion and clearer skin.
How Often Should You Take a Sauna?
If you can’t stand the idea of sitting in a hot, musty room, don’t sweat it. Compared to traditional saunas, infrared saunas make the body sweat at lower temperatures, between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Many people tolerate this better than sitting in a sweltering room heated to 160 degrees.
If you have access to an infrared sauna near you, or are able to purchase a home version, we recommend using it at least three to four times a week for 30 minutes or for 15 minutes every day, especially during the Cleanse.
Written by Kate Kasbee
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