Global Health News
Saunas May Be Good for Blood Pressure
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a New York Times article by Nicholas Bakalar)
Sweating it out in a sauna helps remove excess fluid. This acts like a natural diuretic - a traditional hypertension treatment.
A Finnish study suggests that regular sauna visits can reduce the risk for high blood pressure.
The study, in the American Journal of Hypertension, included 1,621 middle-aged men with normal blood pressure who were followed for an average of 25 years.
Compared to those who reported one sauna session a week or less, those who took two to three sessions were 24 percent less likely to have hypertension, and four to seven visits a week reduced the risk by 46 percent.
The study is observational and does not prove cause and effect, but senior author, Dr. Jari A. Laukkanen, a University of Eastern Finland medicine professor, suggested that several mechanisms could be at play here.
(01) The warmth of the sauna improves blood vessel flexibility, easing blood flow.
(02) The heating up and subsequent cooling down of a typical Finnish sauna induces a general relaxation, helping to moderate blood pressure.
(03) Sweating removes excess fluid, acting as a natural diuretic. Diuretics are among the oldest drugs used to treat hypertension.
Healthy and fun? Gotta try it more often, then!