The scientists didn’t need $6 million to make fictional astronaut Steve Austin better, stronger, faster. A little time in the sauna a few nights a week would have done the trick just fine.
Your sauna may not give you super human strength and speed, but research shows it can play a central role in helping maintain your best physical and mental condition. Raising your core temperature for short periods, as your sauna does, has multiple positive effects on your body.
COMBAT MUSCLE LOSS LATER IN LIFE
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a chemical in the human body that combats muscle loss as we age. Around the 30th birthday, our natural level of HGH starts to dissipate. To negate this, many athletes began injecting HGH, and the substance was subsequently banned by every governing body in professional sports.
Injecting HGH is bad, but maintaining your own naturally produced HGH is good. It slows the aging process. Studies have shown a combination of high intensity exercise, intermittent fasting and regular sauna use can lead to massive, natural production of healthy HGH.
As you get older, this means:
• Less potential for injury
• Higher energy
• More fun!
HEAT PREVENTS PROTEIN DEGRADATION (THAT’S A GOOD THING)
Proteins help your muscles grow. When your body is exposed to heat, it triggers heat shock proteins, which protect and repair damaged proteins.
When rats were exposed to sauna-like sessions, they had a notable release of heat shock proteins. Their muscles recovered from exercise more completely and more quickly than the group that was not exposed to the heat. And the benefits continued for up to 48 hours following the heat exposure.
This also means your muscles degrade more slowly when inactive. If you hit the sauna a few days a week while you’re unable to exercise because of an injury, your muscles will lose strength and density at a slower rate than if you laid up on the couch nursing the injury. If you’re simply not as active as you used to be, the heat can help slow the loss of your strength.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON SAUNAS
When sitting in the sauna your nerve cells release proteins called neurotrophic factors. One such protein is BDNF, which causes your brain stem to produce new neurons and other chemicals that maintain neural health.
BDNF is also present in your neuro-muscular system, where it protects neuromotors (maybe the most important part of your muscles) from degradation.
The presence of BDNF from exercise and sauna use (and fasting) helps prevent and reverse brain degeneration at the same time as tackling age-related muscle atrophy.
Sauna use also increases production of norepinephrine, which comes from the body’s stress response and focuses your attention.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? HOP IN THE SAUNA!
If you have a wet, dry or infrared sauna, make the time for a sweat session tonight, and a few more nights this week. If you’re waiting for the right time to upgrade your home with a sauna, there’s no better time than now.
Visit our showroom on Long Lake Rd in Sudbury and find the perfect sauna to help keep you strong and smart for the next 50 years. We can’t wait to show you why families across the Greater Sudbury Region have trusted us for more than 35 years.