While it’s not always possible to rely on the sun to give you that warm feeling, there is something else you can try…
…which brings us straight to today’s task:
Sit in a steam room, sauna or hot bath.
Just a couple of minutes spent in a heated environment such as these, has been shown to:
- Improve inflammatory responses
- Reduce stress and promote relaxation
- Boost blood sugar and insulin control
- Improve sleep quality
For thousands of years, many cultures have used heat as a form of relaxation, therapy or in various rituals.
Research shows that a dry sauna, in particular, has many health benefits. Most of the information gathered about this comes from Finland, where using a sauna is a common daily activity for most of the population.
For risk of heart disease, in particular, going into a sauna a couple of times a week can positively influence the factors relating to developing the condition.
Hot baths and steam room sessions on the other hand have also been found to have positive health benefits, where these activities may be just as good for you as gentle exercise. Of course, a hot bath or steam room session is no substitute for exercise, the health benefits you gain from it are worth adding either into your weekly routine. We’ve seen that prolonged exposure to higher temperatures that you would get from being in a steam room, hot bath or sauna has the potential to reduce inflammation, help to manage blood sugar levels and improve mental wellbeing through relaxation and decreased stress. There’s also evidence to show that it can improve sleep!
Research shows that these benefits are in part due to the stimulation of heat shock proteins being produced in the body. While they may sound like a bad thing, HSPs are in fact really good for you, as they are involved in the repair of other damaged proteins which helps to protect from oxidative damage and inflammation.
What’s not to like about a gentle sauna, steam room session or hot bath; it’s relaxing, can give you some much needed ‘me’ time, and generally good for your health.
Whichever one you choose, don’t forget to let us know how it makes you feel on the private Supercharge your health Facebook Group!
To your good health,
Team Aches Away
PS) If you are physically active and go to gym, why not include a quick post-workout sauna session into your routine?
PPS) Something a little different is on the horizon for tomorrow’s task. Prepare to chill!
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