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February 2018 (Vol. 28 Issue 11)

Hot stuff! A sauna lowers blood pressure, and your Alzheimer's risk
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Hot stuff! A sauna lowers blood pressure, and your Alzheimer's risk image

Taking a sauna for 30 minutes can have a big effect on your health. It reduces blood pressure, and it also lowers your chances of heart problems and heart attack, and even Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Sauna bathing is a risk-free way to get the health benefits that you'd normally get from exercise and adopting a healthier lifestyle and diet, say researchers.

Just 30 minutes of sauna bathing has a big physiological effect, both during the session and afterwards, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found.

They monitored a hundred volunteers for the effects of one sauna session on their heart health. At the end of the 30 minutes, their blood pressure had lowered and, during the sauna, their heart rate had increased to a level that's usually achieved only after medium-intensity exercise. Their body temperature rose by an average of 2 degrees C.

In earlier studies, the researchers had found that sauna bathing reduced the chances of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and for respiratory diseases such as asthma.


References

(Sources: Journal of Human Hypertension, doi: 10.1038/s41371-017-0008-z; European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, doi:: 10.1177/2047487317737629)

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