The benefits of spending time in a sauna are many. Did you know sauna bathing can help improve cardiovascular function and reduce depression and anxiety? It can also contribute to a more successful weight loss program.
What is sauna “bathing”?
Sauna bathing is used as a form of healing and whole body heat therapy. You are sitting in a room or enclosed space and bathing yourself in warm temperatures and/or light. There are several different types of saunas. High heat/low humidity and steam room saunas, which involve heating the entire room, have been used for thousands of years. In the past decade, infrared saunas have become very popular. Infrared saunas use light waves to heat the body and not the entire room.
A recent systematic review of 40 clinical studies found that regular infrared or Finnish sauna bathing can provide many beneficial health effects. What we found exciting about this study is that it supports the use of saunas for various conditions, such as improving cardiovascular function, overall activity tolerance, and points to promising results in reducing depression.
The depression and weight loss connection.
Increasing your body temperature and sweating influences a proper balance of serotonin (happy neurotransmitter), dopamine (pleasure neurotransmitter) and boosts natural endorphins (which help reduce pain, and lead to better quality of life). Many of the weight loss clients we see in our clinic point to depression or anxiety as a barrier to their weight loss. They use coping mechanisms such as overeating, which leads to weight gain and obesity. This further depletes their confidence and self-esteem and negatively impacts mental health. It can be a vicious circle. A proper balance of your neurotransmitters and endorphin levels can help break that cycle. Infrared saunas can help raise dopamine levels naturally.
Fun fact: People with obesity have less reactive or sensitive dopamine centers in their brains! This means that in order to gain a pleasurable experience with food, obese people do eat more to satisfy their eating pleasure centers!
Saunas can help boost your metabolism.
A sauna session boosts your metabolic rate for days after a session. It can burn upwards of 800 calories from the metabolic boost! Much like exercise does, saunas can speed up the metabolic process and stimulate the endocrine system to burn calories and fat.
It’s important to note however, that saunas aren’t the magic weight loss pill we might all wish for. But, they can be an effective tool when it comes to boosting your calorie burn and your energy levels. It can be a pleasant addition to a comprehensive weight loss program.
The social factor.
Spending time in a sauna is certainly relaxing, but did you know that you can share that relaxing time with a friend? The sauna at VIVA Wellness is the perfect size for two. It is a great opportunity to spend time away from your phone, work and family obligations, and other distractions. In our sauna, you can have an uninterrupted, quiet talk with a friend.
Saunas can make you feel great.
One of the most important aspects of everyone’s health and well-being is simply feeling good. A session in an infrared sauna is not only comfortably warm, but is a calm retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Not only does it make you feel rejuvenated, but it can provide a number of health benefits at the same time.
Why not schedule your infrared sauna session today? (Opens new window to our online appointment scheduler.)