Natural Health News — Frequent sauna bathing reduces the risk of elevated blood pressure, according to new evidence from Finland.
Elevated blood pressure has been shown to be one of the most important risk factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Yet, in this the study of 1621 men, the risk of developing elevated blood pressure was 46% lower among men who had a sauna 4-7 times a week compared to men who had a sauna only once a week.
The risk of hypertension was 24% decreased among men with a sauna frequency of 2-3 times a week. These findings were published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
» A study of regular sauna users in Finland has shown that frequent sauna bathing can help reduce the risk of heart disease by among other things, reducing blood pressure.
» For men who took 2-3 saunas weekly the risk was 24% lower; for those taking a sauna 4-7 times per week the risk was 46% lower.
» The researchers suggest that sauna has beneficial effects on systemic blood pressure as well as helping to balance body fluids, which in turn can help lower blood pressure.
A systemic effect
The same researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, have previously shown that frequent sauna bathing reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
Sauna bathing may decrease systemic blood pressure through different biological mechanisms. During sauna bathing, the body temperature may rise up to 2 °C degrees, causing vessels vasodilation.
Regular sauna bathing improves endothelial function, i.e. the function of the inside layer of blood vessels, which has beneficial effects on systemic blood pressure. Sweating, in turn, removes fluid from the body, which is a contributing factor to decreased blood pressure levels. Additionally, sauna bathing may also lower systemic blood pressure due to overall relaxation of the body and mind.
A recent analysis of the same study also revealed that those taking a sauna frequently have a lower risk of respiratory diseases.
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