Frequent visits to the sauna reduce the risk of strokes, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have found that if a person sits in a sauna four to seven times a week it may reduce the risk of having a stroke by 61 percent.
Professor Hans Hägglund at Uppsala University Hospital is surprised that the effect is so high, but understands why a sauna is good for the cardiovascular system.
“What happens when taking a steam bath is that the peripheral blood vessels expand and the blood pressure decreases,” he says.
The more often, the better
The Finnish survey has charted the habits of over 1,600 men and women and then adjusted the results for risk factors such as smoking, exercise habits, body mass and alcohol habits.
“We know that a person’s lifestyle plays a major role, but the effects of being in a sauna has not been studied in such a structured way before,” says Hägglund.
Even two to three visits a week give positive health effects and reduce the risk of stroke by 14 percent, according to researchers.
Warm and humid
The study does not unexpectedly affect the use of classic Finnish sauna, the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees and high humidity.
How long people are sitting in the sauna, it is not taken into account, but previous surveys have shown that you should sit for a while.
“With regard to cardiovascular disease, it has been found that the health effect is greater the longer you sit,” says Hägglund.
Even the professor gets into a sauna four to five times a week and he strongly recommends others to do the same.
“The sauna is not only healthy, it’s also nice,” he says.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today