Now, I have never been one for saunas. I personally find them rather uncomfortable and they seem to restrict my breathing a little.

But when exiting my local gym yesterday I had a little leaflet all about the positive benefits of sauna use thrust into my hand and the owner said that I should be using the sauna there three times a week.

Having never really considered them as anything other than a rather complicated way to take a bath or shower I decided to investigate further.

Those advocating the regular use of saunas come up with some rather compelling reasons:

  • It cleans the skin by opening the pores and allowing sweat to purge toxins out. This also helps remove toxins from teeth bones and sinuses.
  • Increased blood flow from the body striving to maintain its optimum temperature helps heal cuts and relieve sun burn. This increased blood flow also helps transport nutrients throughout the body.
  • It stimulates the immune system by inducing an ‘artificial fever’ and decreases your chances of catching a cold or flu.
  • It increases the heart rate to the level you would expect from a brisk walk.
  • A sauna session can burn off several hundred calories.
  • The steamy atmosphere is good for clearing the lungs.
  • It is a good way of relieving stress.
  • It is also said that it improves the functions of the liver and kidneys.

As you can see, a lot of positives so I might be tempted to give it a go next time I’m in the gym.

The only things to bear in mind is that the sauna should not be uncomfortably hot, you should drink sufficient fluid before and after your session and ten to twenty minutes should be ample. And maybe give it a miss is you are either pregnant or have any heart problems.

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