Now that you have stocked up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, what is there left to do but wait? Make sure you eat your veggies, drink lots of water, and wash those hands, but on a deeper level, a cellular level, you can strengthen your body’s defenses against any oncoming infection.
The benefits of sauna use are widely published by researchers and can range from mental to cardiovascular health. However, in today’s current state of concern over contagious illnesses, saunas still can prove a tool in the fight for health.
When your body undergoes the extreme heat in a dry sauna (upwards of 165° F), miraculous things begin to happen. Blood pumps from your heart towards your warming skin, raising your core body temperature. Your body initiates defenses in the the form of increasing red blood cell production and the creation of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP). Those proteins set off to repair and unfold damaged proteins in your cells. As a result, you have stronger, more resilient cells against foreign invaders. Effectively, putting your body under heat stress in a controlled environment, like a dry sauna, better prepares your body and immune system for stressors it may encounter unwillingly.
If you are attempting to escape germs, bacteria, and viruses (aren’t we all?), the sauna can be one of the most hygienic places to be. Nearly all microorganisms die in temperatures over 150°F. Dry saunas are kept well-above that–averaging over 165°F. Any hitchhiking bugs on the exterior of your body won’t have a fighting chance.
Escape one last factor, that’s guaranteed to take a toll on your health if left unchecked–stress. Under extreme heat stress, the opioid system in your body will initiate the release of beta-endorphins. Those same endorphins are similar those released after a good workout. They will lift your mood and you will leave feeling more relaxed. Take some time in the sauna to unplug, meditate, and clear your head. You will leave refreshed and ready to take on the world.