The Finnish Sauna & Health Benefits
An added bonus of our Scandinavian winter holidays: the Sauna!
Sweating seems to be good for the heart. Regular time spent sweating in a sauna has been shown in Finnish research to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and other deadly heart disease. This is great news for the sauna-addicted Scandinavians and anyone lucky enough to visit our region.
The study followed 2,300 Finnish middle-aged men for an average of 21 years. During the period, 929 of the men died. The mortality rate was 40% lower among men who spent time in the sauna four to seven times each week, compared with those who went into a sauna only once a week. Among those who spent two or three times each week in the sauna, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 22% lower than those who sauna-ed once a week. The results also showed that the length of time spent sweating in the sauna made a difference: Those who regularly sauna bathed 11 to 19 minutes cut their risk of sudden cardiac death in half compared with the men who regularly sauna-ed for a shorter time.
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio are still determining whether the heat itself is good for the heart or if it’s a correlation with the time relaxing while in the sauna. And plans for a parallel study on women is in the works, too.
Many of our Finnish winter holidays have saunas either in the privacy of your own room or within the hotel complex. These nightly saunas are a great way to warm up after your day's activities and you will return home missing this daily ritual.
Image credits: Visit Finland and photogapher: Hannu Holopainen