Saunas have been used for thousands of years and are still popular today.
The Mayans used sweat houses 3000 years ago. In Finland, saunas have been used for thousands of years too and today there’s 3.3 million saunas for 5,3 million people! In Northern Europe and Russia saunas are popular too. Also in U.S there are over a million saunas in use.
A sauna is typically a room heated to between 70° to 100° Celsius or 158° to 212° Fahrenheit.
- Finnish Sauna = Dry heat (humidity 10-20%)
- Infrared room = Dry light waves heat the body, max. 60 Celsius
- Turkish-style saunas/steam rooms = High level of humidity (above 80%)
Sweating has long been used as a therapy and going to sauna has many health benefits:
- Reduced risk of all-cause mortality & fatal cardiac incidents (heart attacks)
- Reduced risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Sauna use increases the heart rate similar to aerobic exercise with the heart rate ranging between 120-150 beats per minute.
- Regular sauna use may also benefit strength training through improved recovery & muscle growth through the increased growth hormones.
- Growth hormone increases by 200-300% after a single sauna use, which helps with reducing muscle atrophy.
- Three-weeks of post-exercise sauna bathing increased endurance
- Deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemicals – which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.
- Induce a deeper sleep.
- Relieves stress.
- Sweating rinses bacteria out of the skin layers and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores has been shown to improve the capillary circulation, while giving the skin a softer-looking quality.
- You can sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process using fat and carbohydrates for the high energy use.
- Sauna areas can be a relaxing environment for socializing with family, friends and soon-to-be friends. The sauna room environment is conducive to open, intimate and quiet conversations.
- Sauna just feels good.
Benefits of cold:
According to many top strength coaches who work with pro-athletes, soaking in a tub full of ice is something that can make a big difference in the way your body recovers from exercise.
Ice bath at home:
Grab three bags of ice from a convenience store and fill your bath tub halfway full with cold water. Pour the ice in. The ideal temperature: is 8-15 Celsius degrees.
Shoot for at least 5-10 minutes in the tub. Once you get more comfortable, you can increase it up to 20 minutes, but never longer than that.
Benefits of ice bath:
- Cold therapy constricts blood vessels.
- Decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.
- Suppresses inflammation and promotes healing of muscle and joints.
- Helps to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles.
- Helps alleviate depression.
- It takes some serious focus to stay in the cold water. This will build your will power (kind of like building a muscle).
- Improves emotional resilience. You’ll be calmer, collected and well thought.
- Reduces stress. Uric acid drops, glutathione increases….this means stress levels are down overall.
- Icy baths leave you in a very heightened and positive emotional state.