Finnish scientists have shown that regular sauna use has health benefits. Explanations.
For 2000 years, spending time in a sauna has been an almost daily pleasure for the Finns. In the Maghreb countries, the sweat baths followed by cold showers are part of the essential hygiene. In France, the practice is more recent, but is growing more and more in sports halls. And for good reason: sweating in a wooden cabin heated to 80 °, cooling off in a cold shower and restarting the process several times has beneficial effects on health. This is revealed by a study conducted by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland.
The research group investigated the physiological mechanisms through which exposure to sauna heat can influence health. Produced on 100 subjects in the "Sauna and Cardiovascular Health" project, this study provides a new insight into the changes that occur in the human body during and after a 30-minute sauna session.
The sauna, the new sport?
As the article, published in the journal Journal of Hypertension, points out, vascular relaxation was measured from the carotid and femoral artery before the sauna, at the exit of the sauna and after 30 minutes of recovery. Scientists have found that after half an hour of sauna, the average systolic blood pressure of those tested increased from 137 mmHg to 130 mmHg and their diastolic blood pressure from 82 mmHg to 75 mmHg.
The mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, which is an indicator of vascular compliance, was 9.8 m / s before the sauna and 8.6 m / s thereafter. In summary, 30 minutes of sauna reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance, as well as heart rate. Just like the practice of a medium intensity physical activity. In previous research, scientists had already discovered that going to a sauna on a regular basis reduced the risk of coronary heart disease, sudden death, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.