Sauna Use Increases Muscle Recuperation
by: Robbie Durand
Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal. Scientists and doctors are finally acknowledging what our ancestors instinctively knew, that regular sweating restores good health through the elimination of toxins.It is scientifically confirmed that saunas help us relax our body. It’s been reported that sweating has proven its effectiveness in flushing out toxins and disease and maintaining optimal physical as well as mental health. The skin is the largest organ in the body and through the pores it plays a major role in the detoxifying process alongside the lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver and the lymphatic and immune systems. The skin produces cool sweat to regulate the body’s elevated temperature.
Sweat carries toxins out of the body and flushes them through the pores. Sauna therapy can also assist us with different types of rheumatism such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, obstructive lung disease. The latest piece of sauna research reports that sauna’s can help you live longer. Researchers tracked the health and sauna habits of 2,315 Finnish men with a median age of 53 for over 30 years, finding remarkable correlations between sitting in a really hot room with a bunch of naked men and protection from fatal heart attacks. Men who used the sauna two to three times a week had a 23% lower risk of fatal heart attack compared to men who used it just once a week. Men who used the sauna four to seven times a week had a 48% reduced risk of fatal heart attack compared to once-a-weekers. The more frequently men used the sauna, the greater the protection. Similar connections were found for all-cause mortality, too.
Sauna’s not only can benefit your health but can also improve your 5K running time according to researchers in New Zealand. The physiological adaptations to sauna bathing could enhance endurance performance. Researchers performed a cross-over study in which six male distance runners completed 3 weeks of post-training sauna bathing and 3 weeks of control training, with a 3 week washout. During the sauna period, subjects sat in a humid sauna at 85 degrees C immediately post-exercise for 30 minutes. The performance test was a approximately 15 min treadmill run to exhaustion at the runner’s current best speed over 5 km. The test was performed on the 1st and 2nd day following completion of the sauna and control periods, and the times were averaged. The subjects were allowed to drink as much as they wanted. Plasma, red-cell and total blood volume were measured immediately prior to the first run to exhaustion for each period. Relative to control, sauna bathing increased run time to exhaustion by 32% , which is equivalent to an enhancement of approximately 1.9% in an endurance time trial. Plasma and red-cell volumes increased after sauna relative to control. Change in performance had high correlations with change increases in plasma volume and total blood volume. The researchers concluded that 3 weeks of post-exercise sauna bathing produced a worthwhile enhancement of endurance running performance, probably by increasing blood volume. The 32% increase in running endurance found in this particular study was accompanied by a 7.1% increase in plasma volume and 3.5% increase in red blood cell count. This increased red blood cell count accompanying these performance gains means more oxygen delivery to muscles. It is thought that heat acclimation boosts the red blood cells count through erythropoietin (EPO) because the body is trying to compensate for the corresponding rise in plasma volume. Be sure to incorporate regular sauna use into your training regimen if your trying to improve your 5 K time.
Scoon GS, Hopkins WG, Mayhew S, Cotter JD. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners. J Sci Med Sport. 2007 Aug;10(4):259-62.
MUSCLE MEDIA MAGAZINE FOR MEN
The premier source of training, nutrition, supplements, fat loss and health for men.