Health & Wellness 6-10

Health and Wellness Continued
6. Recreational and Social Benefits
While the social benefit is rarely touted, it should not be trivialized. The sauna can be a private personal retreat or a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends. The sauna environment is ideal for openness, quiet conversation and intimacy.
7. Improves Cardiovascular Performance
In the heat of a sauna, skin heats up and core body temperature rises. In response to the heat, the blood vessels near the skin dilate and cardiac output increases. Medical research shows the heart rate can rise from 60-70/min. to 110-120/min. in the sauna (140-150 with more intensive bathing), and can often sink to below normal after the cooling off stage. With regular sauna use, we not only train our heart muscles and improve the heart rate/cardiac output, but we also positively influence the regulatory system.
Further cardiovascular conditioning occurs when the sauna is taken in multiple “innings”, with sessions in the sauna separated by a cool shower or a dip into a cool pool or lake. Every time you rapidly change temperature (from hot to cool or vice versa), your heart rate increases by as much as 60%--comparable to moderate exercise.
8. Burns Calories
Outlandish claims are often made by some sauna sellers (primarily infrared) to promote saunas as a weight loss tool. While some individuals may experience high amounts of calories burned initially—particularly those individuals in poor shape—over the long term, saunas are simply treated as another tool in our arsenal to burn additional calories.
The sweating process itself takes a lot of energy. That energy is derived from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a process that burns up calories. According to the U.S. Army medical research (Ward Dean, M.D.), “A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process.”
The body consumes calories by way of accelerated heart activity (cardiovascular section). As heart activity increases demanding more oxygen, the body converts more calories into energy. 
9. Fights Illness
German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduced the incidence of colds and influenza. As the body is exposed to a sauna’s heat and steam (traditional), it produces white blood cells more rapidly—which in turn help fight illness and help kill viruses.
Saunas can relieve sinus congestion from colds or allergies—especially when used with steam (add eucalyptus to the water for added benefit and enjoyment). The steam vapor action helps clear up uncomfortable congestion and is a wonderful part of the Finnish sauna experience.
10. Feels Good
A sauna not only feels good, it’s good for you. Whether it’s the physiological changes that occur in the warmth of a sauna, or if it’s simply the time spent in the calm, still retreat of the sauna, all who sauna agree—it feels wonderful! As we go through our daily stressful lives, the sauna provides a pampering retreat—where we can relax and restore body and soul. A sauna truly makes you “Feel Better”, “Look Better” and “Sleep Better”.
Sauna use is all about wellness and feeling better. People who sauna bathe daily give constant testimonials of feeling better, sleeping better and overall having more energy. A sauna not only detoxifies you, bathes you in heat and helps restore your body, but it also is a place to simply relax. In today's hectic lifestyles, a sauna is a great place to start for a daily escape from life's busy schedule. 
Look Better
Saunas remove dead skin cells, improve skin tone, burn calories, remove toxins and rehydrate your skin.
Sleep Better
Saunas help induce a deeper, more relaxing sleep.
Feel Better
Because of increased endorphin levels, your body experiences a natural high from sauna use, but also keeps you healthier by helping ward off colds, flu or other viruses. A sauna not only feels good, it's good for you.
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