Without doubt, winter in Canada can be extreme – freezing weather, greyish sky, and arctic winds to really make things uncomfortable. It’s the perfect weather for getting into a sauna, feeling cozy, and taking advantage of the many health benefits. The benefits of using a sauna in the winter go far beyond coziness and comfort. In fact, the Finns make use of their saunas to address a range of health concerns – from better circulation, to enhanced relaxation and cleansing.
Some of the many health benefits of using a sauna in the winter
Regardless of the type of sauna and heating method, the exposure to high heat is what’s proven to effect the body in a positive way. Sitting in the sauna causes heart rates to increase and blood vessels to open up. This actually increases blood circulation in the same way that moderate exercise does. In short, improved circulation has a positive effect on various body mechanics.
Sauna sessions contribute to pain reduction. With increased blood circulation, muscle soreness is noticeably reduced, joint movement is eased, and people with arthritic pain notice relief.
As for stress, there’s nothing like getting into the sauna after a tough day at the office. Here again, with enhanced circulation, there’s a feeling of relaxation, stress release and wellbeing.
Some studies have shown that regular sauna exposure improves cardiovascular health for those who are predisposed to illness. Reduced stress levels likely play a role with this.
For those with skin issues, a dry sauna can provide relief from symptoms and even improve some conditions. However, it remains important to check with a medical professional simply to be sure regarding individual concerns.
Beyond the physical benefits of using a sauna in the winter, people enjoy the sauna environment as a haven of quiet serenity – an opportunity to fully relax, let go and enjoy the stillness.
The health benefits of a sauna for those with asthma
While more research is required, people dealing with asthma sometimes find symptom relief when sitting in a sauna. It’s believed that the sauna environment might help to open up airways and loosen up phlegm (respiratory mucous) helping to alleviate symptoms.
Because asthma constricts the airways and therefore makes breathing difficult, the sauna has proven to be an effective respite. For those who suffer with asthma symptoms (in winter and summer) a sauna session could be helpful.
For health and wellness, a home sauna is worthwhile
The benefits of using a sauna in the winter actually extend into the spring, especially in climates like Canada. Clearly the health benefits differ from person to person, thus young and old should always check with a family physician to make sure there are no immediate health risks or concerns.
For some, the idea of detoxification is an attractive feature. For others, it may be about relief for chronic pain. And for others, it may be strictly about relaxation and stress relief. Overall, it’s the intense sweating inside the sauna that does the work to stimulate bodily functions.