Fighting Fit: What exactly are the benefits of a sauna? - TheMacLife

Fighting Fit: What exactly are the benefits of a sauna?

You might be surprised about exactly how beneficial a thirty-minute sauna session can be.

By John Balfe - 3 Nov 2020

While regular folk like you and I use saunas for very different reasons compared to prizefighters (most of us don’t need to cut weight for anything, for example) it is worth reminding yourself of the myriad benefits that a regular sauna routine can give you.

For many MMA fighters, the very idea of a sauna can bring with it a hint of post-traumatic stress. As most fans of the sport will know, saunas are a chief weapon in a fighter’s ability to cut weight as they strip every last ounce of water from their systems before stepping on the scales and quickly rehydrating it back in. It is an arduous task, and one that most fighters dread, but stepping into a sauna doesn’t illicit that same feeling for more moderate users (or those not hoping to drop 10-pounds from their system ahead of a weigh-in).

But how exactly does it impact us?

Saunas help increase your circulation

Why does this happen? Well, the heat in the sauna will make your heart beat faster, open your capillaries and hasten the blood flow around your body. This can help will all manner of complaints, particularly muscle soreness. Improved circulation is also very beneficial to your joints and can help prevent ailments like arthritis.

They’re good for your heart

A recent study has shown that men who go to a sauna at least once per week are far less likely to develop cardiovascular disease concerns. Not only that, the more a person used a sauna the more it was shown that they were less likely to develop those particular health problems.  This again comes down to blood flow, as it helps cells in your heath have easier access to blood.

It helps you lose weight

Now, we’re not talking about cutting weight here as that will go straight back on you as soon as you drink some water, but it does have major benefits towards your metabolism. Furthermore, some people have been known to burn around 500 calories just by sitting in a sauna for around 30 minutes.

Saunas remove toxins from your system

Remember, sweating is a good thing. Many people can struggle to get a sweat on in their daily lives, with sedentary jobs mostly to blame for that, but sitting in a sauna will help you to flux out the various toxins that you and your skin pick up on a daily basis.

It is a great stress reliever

Sitting in a sauna is a relaxing endeavour. You don’t have to do anything, other than sit with your own thoughts or chat with your gym buddy. It also acts as a great comedown after a difficult exercise session. Not only that, it will help you to release those endorphins which can help with your mood — and it is all done with minimal activity.

 

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