We’re all welcoming a change in season as the crisp, cool autumn air arrives in most parts of the country.
And while you might be reaching for your long pants and sweaters, today’s topic is more of a hot one.
I recently reported on a STEAMY way to ignite heart health.
And now, research is looking at even more health benefits of sauna bathing.
A healing “stress” response
A 2021 review shows that heat stress (your body’s response to heat) from sauna bathing BOOSTS the activity of heat shock proteins (HSP) in a way that’s similar to the effects of aerobic exercise.
In fact, researchers found HSPs become (and remain) elevated in cells within 30 minutes of exposure to heat—whether the exposure to heat comes from sauna bathing or exercising.
Why is this significant?Because HSPs “break down old, dysfunctional proteins and then protect new proteins from becoming dysfunctional,” as explained by a study author. This essentially helps decrease systemic inflammation, which we know is the root cause of disease and aging.
In addition, another review found elevated amounts of HSPs may help people remain physically active for longer. And it’s not hard to understand why THAT’S so beneficial to health.
ADD this healthy lifestyle habit
Now, sauna bathing isn’t for everyone, especially those with pre-existing heart conditions, diabetes, and more. So it’s always best to check with your doctor before experimenting in the heat.
But here comes the part where I tell you that sitting in a sauna should NEVER replace being physically and aerobically active…
Rather, it should be added to your other healthy lifestyle habits—like eating a proper diet, exercising regularly, sleeping well, managing stress, and staying hydrated.
Indeed, most research shows that enjoying time in a sauna is a great extension of aerobic exercise. Even the study I recently reported on found that one can expect even more benefit when adding sauna bathing to aerobic and strength training.
The bottom line?
If you’re unable to exercise, then yes—sauna bathing could be a unique way to gain some cardiovascular benefits. But if you can (and do) exercise, please extend your workouts with a sauna. That’s what I do, and I thoroughly enjoy the added benefit!
P.S. For additional ways to boost cardiovascular health—and help ward off America’s top killers, like high blood pressure and stroke—check out my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. Click here now to learn about this innovative, online learning tool.
“Time to Prescribe Sauna Bathing for Cardiovascular Health?” Medscape, 06/20/2023. (medscape.com/viewarticle/993434)