Health, Zoomer Report

Sauna and Longevity

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Do you enjoy a schvitz? That’s sitting in the sauna. Well, according to a study in JAMA Internal medicine, it appears to be connected to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and could ultimately lead to a longer life.

Researchers collected health data for more than 2,300 men from where else?  Finland who used the sauna between 1984 and 1985. The researchers followed up on the participants in 2011. Higher frequency and longer duration of sauna use was correlated with less risk for heart problems and a lower chance of mortality.

The benefits of sauna use are much like those of exercise, according to the study. Sauna use increases heart rate and greatly boosts sweat levels like light or moderate exercise does. Overall, sauna use also leads to “better relaxation and well-being,” Laukkanen said.

How much time should you spend in the sauna? The researchers say more is better. Those with more than four sauna sessions per week had the lowest risk, but there were benefits from going twice or three times weekly.

The study only looked at men, but the researchers believe women would benefit equally.

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