The cardiovascular benefits of the Finnish sauna are recognized by science. This episode of "Daily Health Pills" explains what the effects are
The Finnish sauna is a form of passive heat therapy, that is, it provides dry air with 10-20% humidity and a temperature that varies from 80 to 100 degrees at the level of the head, but obviously it is much lower at the level of the floor. to keep ventilation efficient. The duration generally varies from 10 to 45 minutes depending on the person.
Effects on the heart
Scientific studies say that the cardiovascular benefits of the Finnish sauna exist, for both men and women. Heat can improve circulatory function, acting on the endothelium cells, reducing the stiffness of the arteries, stimulating the sympathetic and vagal systems in the acute phase and thus lowering blood pressure. The sauna can cause an increase in heart rate that is comparable to what is achieved with low or moderate intensity exercise.
When it is not recommended
However, the sauna is not suitable for everyone. It should be avoided if you suffer from blood pressure problems, particularly if it is very low or not well controlled. And not only. Experts recall that this approach is not recommended in patients with high cardiovascular risk, in those with very acute infections, in those suffering from epilepsy, myocarditis or pericarditis. So, before taking the sauna, talk to your doctor first.
Before and after the treatment
There is no need to enter the sauna after having eaten a large lunch or fasting. The indication is to consume a snack consisting of easily digestible foods, such as yogurt or some fruit. Also pay attention to hydration, it is very useful to drink herbal tea: lime or chamomile in the sauna will help eliminate sweat. Avoid aperitifs and alcohol once the treatment is finished.
Last tip: before entering the sauna, take a shower and dry yourself carefully, so that your body will be better prepared to receive the intense heat.
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“Daily Health Pills” is Tipsforwomens TakeCare's podcast series, curated by Federico Mereta. In each episode we talk about prevention, care and good habits.