Sure, it’s relaxing. But did you know regular sauna bathing might actually lower your risk of getting high blood pressure?
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland recently published a study in the American Journal of Hypertension that found that men who had two to three sessions of sauna bathing a week had a 24 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those who hit the sauna less frequently. The researchers suggest that the increase in body temperature during sauna bathing can cause blood vessels to dilate, which can increase blood flow. Also, they note that regular sauna use can improve the function of the endothelium (the tissue that lines the inside of blood vessels), which can improve blood pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 75 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stoke and heart disease. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining your weight are all good ways to reduce your risk, and now you can add hitting the sauna to that list.