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Sauna Therapy For Managing Obesity

diabetes heart hypertension obesity sauna therapy May 17, 2023

Summary: Going to a sauna is an age-old Nordic tradition that is becoming popular in various parts of the world. Now clinical studies show that many of its claimed health benefits are true. For example, the sauna can help burn fat and calories, lose body weight, reduce insulin resistance, lower blood pressure, boosts heart health, enhance mood, and help fight depression.

 Saunas are particularly popular in Nordic countries, though now they are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world. They are used for hygienic purposes, relaxing, and socializing. Now studies suggest that sauna can be a wonderful way to stay healthy.

Saunas are quite warm or rather hot and may reach extremely high temperatures, often exceeding 80-100°C (176-212°F). Therefore, spending some time in these high temperatures may be quite beneficial. Though there are many types of saunas, traditional Finnish and dry saunas have greater health benefits than steam saunas or Turkish baths.

Nordic people have always associated saunas with numerous health benefits and detoxification. However, now science is realizing that they could be really helpful. New studies suggest that saunas could be quite helpful for obese people. It may be a way of managing obesity and reducing the risk of obesity-related health disorders.

It helps burn lots of calories

Some compare the sauna with a high-intensity workout. However, researchers say that spending a total of about 30 minutes a day in a sauna may help burn many calories. When a person is in a sauna, it causes an increase in heart rate and metabolic rate. Therefore, spending 30 minutes in a sauna may help burn significant amounts of calories.

It means that a sauna can help with weight loss. One of the studies found that spending 60 minutes in a sauna can help reduce more than half a kg of body weight. Moreover, studies show that sauna is good for improving body composition and it helps reduce visceral fat.

Improves insulin sensitivity

Diabetes is one of the common complications of obesity, and studies suggest that sauna therapy could be an excellent way of reducing diabetes risk. Studies suggest that sauna therapy can reduce insulin resistance and boost NO production. It means that it is not just good for diabetes prevention or management. It may even minimize the risk of diabetes complications.

Good for heart health

Those living with obesity are prone to heart disorders. Moreover, health issues like diabetes and hypertension are pretty common these days. Studies suggest that sauna therapy is quite good for lowering blood pressure. It can even decrease essential hypertension. Not only that, a sauna is also good for those living with heart diseases like congestive heart failure. Further, studies suggest that sauna may even boost endothelial NO production. A sauna could be an excellent way to boost metabolic health for those who cannot exercise regularly. 

Reduces inflammation

Inflammation may occur due to injury, some local issues like arthritis. However, researchers have increasingly become interested in low-grade chronic inflammation in recent years. Such chronic inflammation is thought to cause heart disease, diabetes, brain disorders, and even cancers. Now studies show that sauna therapy can be amazingly good for managing this low-grade inflammation. One of the studies in more than 2000 adults aged 42-60 found that using a sauna a few days a week may reduce C-reactive protein levels by 20%. These are massive gains or non-pharmacological means.3

It may help suppress the appetite

Though any such effect is short lasting, it appears that appetite suppression is one of the acute effects of sauna therapy. Furthermore, it means those who use a sauna regularly are more likely to achieve their weight loss objectives.

Enhances mood and helps reduce depression

Nordic people have traditionally used saunas for recreation, socializing, and relaxing. It appears that they were right as studies show that sauna may help improve mood and reduce depression risk. It may also help counter certain signs and symptoms of depression, like fatigue, appetite loss, and other issues.4

It means that the sauna is not just good for relaxing. It has some fantastic health benefits. It is vital to understand that one would need to use a sauna at least 2-3 times a week for an extended period to experience its benefits.

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