We all know that stepping foot inside the sauna can make you feel good. It is especially an excellent activity for those who like to de-stress after a tiring work week.
According to a recent study, your risk of suffering from a heart attack may get lower the more you go to the local sauna and the longer you stay in there, too, each time.
So keep on reading if you like to know more about this matter. Similarly, feel free to share this article on your various social media sites to get your sauna-going family and friends to keep up their habit — and also to entice non-sauna lovers to have a change of heart to, well, keep their heart out of harm’s way.
Based on Earlier Studies
Investigations linking sauna use to reduced heart attack risk are a dime a dozen — so many of them have actually been conducted in the past. However, those studies largely focused on men since they’re at higher risk of suffering from a heart attack than women.
This time around, the most recent study saying that sauna use may in fact fend off a heart attack focused on men and women alike — it concerns you, too, if you’re female.
By the way, the study that’s currently in the spotlight was conducted by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland. They actually utilized an earlier-conducted research called the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease or KIHD study. By means of the said study, the incidence of heart attack was investigated.
A Long-Term Investigation
What makes this particular investigation so impressive is the researchers followed up on the health of the participants 15 long years after they have agreed to partake in the KIHD study.
The KIHD study consisted of a total of 1,680 participants. Unlike other similar studies about the link of sauna use with the incidence of heart attack, this one consisted of both male and female subjects. And by the way, the participants involved were aged between 53 and 74, the ones who are at higher risk of heart disease.
Participants were then divided into three different groups based on the number of times they paid saunas a visit: once a week, two to three times a week, and four to seven times a week.
Also factors that were noted were the temperature inside the enclosure and duration of sauna use.
Results After 15 Years
Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland, after 15 years, followed up on the health status of all of the KIHD study participants. Actually, they were first examined some time in between 1998 and 2001. Regular follow-up researches on them were conducted since then. The following were the findings:
- Since the study commenced, a total of 181 participants suffered from deadly heart attack.
- Participants in the group that paid saunas a visit four to seven times a week had the lowest rate of heart attack-related deaths.
- Members of the group that went to saunas once a week only had approximately four times as many heart attack-related deaths as those who went to saunas several times per week.
- Individuals who used saunas for a minimum of 45 minutes each time showed better outcomes regarding heart-attack related mortality.
Lowered Risk Factors
According to the involved scientists, they believe that the reason why frequent saunas users (and also those who used saunas the longest) had lowered heart attack risk is because of the fact that increased temperatures in saunas help reduce the blood pressure — high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.
They add the fact that saunas cause a slight increase in the heart rate, which allows a sauna-going individual to enjoy the perks offered by engaging in mild to moderate cardiovascular exercise.
However, it’s important to note that people who had previous heart attacks or an existing cardiovascular disease should first consult their doctors before using saunas because it could actually put their life in danger — it’s exactly for this reason why it’s not unlikely for some saunas to carry a warning for people with heart-related problems.