The sauna and health
Can viruses be eliminated through sweating?
The sauna is the best way of preventing colds. But can it also help with viruses? Unfortunately not! Doctors agree: those who regularly visit a sauna do not easily catch colds, because the changes in temperature which the body undergoes inside the sauna reinforce the immune system with a protective action that normally lasts a week. The sauna is not effective however in combating colds or influenza already contracted.
A newly contracted infection and the sauna are not compatible!
The extreme temperature swings only exacerbate the illness, subjecting the body to considerable stress. It is therefore preferable to start attending sauna sessions again once the symptoms of the illness (e.g. high temperature) have disappeared, so that the after effects are eliminated as well. The sauna is the ideal way to take care of your body, also because sweating and the various infusions, on the one hand, have a purifying effect on the skin and, on the other hand, as well as bringing out and eliminating keratin-filled cells from the surface cutaneous layers, they dissolve particles of dirt, bacteria, grease residue and blackheads. At the same time they encourage the renewal of cells, giving the skin a soft and velvety appearance. It is no coincidence that beauticians recommend periodic sauna sessions for deep skin cleansing.
The heat stimulates the heart and blood circulation
The sauna reinforces the whole cardio-circulatory system and, although during the warming phase the rapid evaporation of sweat has a cooling effect on the skin, the internal body temperature rises by 1°, making the epidermis also rise by 10° and causing the blood vessels to dilate which, consequently empty. The amount of blood circulating increases as does the speed of the flow, while the heartbeat increases by 50%: this is indispensable for a sufficient supply of blood to the sweat glands.
Sauna and sport
Exercise for the circulatory system and relief for the muscles! Anyone who treats themselves to a sauna session after doing sport does their body a favour, also because it promotes the relaxation of tired muscles. But beware: the circulatory system could become overtaxed! The sauna has a relaxing effect on the musculoskeletal system and on the muscles, together with stimulation of the blood vessels useful for adapting blood circulation and heart economy. At the same time the sauna promotes the elimination of metabolic waste products (a process also know as detoxification), consequently giving rise to a strengthening of the sports physique.
Useful information: sauna sessions are good for lesions caused by sport, precisely because this acceleration of the metabolism encourages relief from muscular lesions and tension. Nevertheless, where a haemorrhage is present, even only inside the tissue, it is preferable to avoid the sauna until the blood vessel has closed completely. Instead those who sweat profusely following sports activities should reintegrate the loss of liquids before embarking upon a sauna session in order to provide the body with the necessary mineral salts.