Many people suffer from high blood pressure, in fact the CDC says almost half (47%) of Americans suffer from some form of hypertension.1 With numbers so high how can we be sure its safe to use a sauna and receive its many health benefits? Well this article is going to break down important topics you should know in relation to using a sauna with hypertension and how you can treat high blood pressure. Using a sauna with high blood pressure may be beneficial, but depending on certain levels.
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A Rising Healthcare Risk
With more people suffering from hypertension every year , it is important to understand how this can affect you as well as what the outlook may be in the future. With high blood pressure being so prevalent there has never been a more important time to take care of your own health. Using a sauna with high blood pressure may help to curb this trend but lets get into some sauna statistics.
Finnish Study Proves Major Benefits Of Sauna Use
A study of over 1600 men in Finland over the course of their current lifetime revealed profound effects of consistent sauna use.2 Out of the 1621 men who participated in the study, more than 15% had developed high blood pressure during the 22 year study. But the interesting point was that hypertension was decreased by 24% in participants who used saunas for 2-3 times a week. Whats even more fascinating is that it was a whopping 46% decrease for those that used saunas 4-7 times a week!
Saunas Greatly Improve Blood Pressure
Using a sauna can greatly improve your blood pressure and lower your risk of becoming a statistic. Simply sitting in a sauna can raise your temperature by several degrees and increase circulation, both which help to fight off high blood pressure. There are also many additional health benefits to using a sauna, even if you don’t have hypertension, including lowering stress levels and boosting the immune system. Using a sauna with high blood pressure is recommended when in these healthier rangers, but when at the extreme end consult a medical professional first.
Is It Safe To Use A Sauna With High Blood Pressure?
For the most part yes, however if the user has a blood pressure of 180 or higher then it is considered dangerous. If your hypertension is at this level it is heavily suggested to contact a doctor immediately as this is not safe for the body under this load of blood pressure stress.
If Your Blood Pressure Is High Consider These Tips For Sauna Use
Shorter Sessions: Try a session of 10-15 minutes until you gradually build up over time. This can dramatically cut your chances of feeling nauseous.
No Extreme Heat: Stick to a lower heat setting on your sauna use in the range of 140F-180F which is achievable for most traditional saunas or infrared devices.
Skip The Cold Plunge: Until you get on top of your blood pressure it is best not to undergo drastic temperature changes. Many people enjoy a cold shower after the sauna but this rapid change in body temperature can be detrimental to ones health if they have hypertension.
No Alcohol: Don’t drink alcohol when using the sauna or for a few hours before using the sauna which can greatly impair the blood flow of your body.
Proper Hydration In The Sauna
Drinking water is often overlooked in the sauna experience but it is important to be well hydrated before, during, and after using your sauna. Drinking water with electrolytes will not only help to prevent the flu-like symptoms that are associated with dehydration but also help reduce blood pressure by lowering your salt levels. Its suggested to drink minimum of 500mls of water every 15 minute session. When using a sauna with high blood pressure it really is vital to replace enough hydration to allow electrolytes back into the blood and cells.
After the sauna its recommended to use a hydration drink consisting of not just water but electrolytes. Adding something like 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt can help to replenish lost minerals during the sweating session. You can find a great list of celtic sea salt benefits here too.
Further Benefits Of Sauna Use
Skin Health Benefits: The sauna is also great for your skin. From the steam to the heat, saunas are great for your skin and can help relieve acne or other skin discomforts. If using a sauna with high blood pressure and you notice red skin after use this is okay as its just blood coming to the surface to cool down.
Relaxation: For most people it is a hard weekend if they don’t use their sauna in some form.
Heat Shock Proteins: These proteins are activated when your body reaches 102 degrees and help to ward off diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Parkinsons.
Superoxide Dismutase: A enzyme that fights free radicals, the free radical theory of aging and is a widely cited health reason for using a sauna.
Mental Health: There have been many studies done on the effects of saunas on depression which shows a positive correlation between high blood pressure and depression.
Aerobic Health: Saunas help to build up your heart and lungs which can be beneficial for many other health issues such as high blood pressure and respiratory health.
Stress: Stress has been shown to greatly worsen blood pressure and sits at the basis of hypertension. Saunas are a great stress reliever and helper in keeping your stress at a healthy level.
Concluding this article its definitely a positive experience to use a sauna to help ease hypertension but if your blood pressure is on the high scale its recommended to consult a doctor first. Consistent use of the sauna has been proven to lower hypertension and other conditions people face. Using a sauna is relaxing way to unwind after exercise or a long day of work and a great place of social activity for the community. Using a sauna with high blood pressure is very beneficial when kept in a healthy range, if levels exceed this its best to consult your doctor first.
A Quick Disclaimer From The Author
I want to mention that I am not a doctor or even a certified health specialist and so you shall take everything I’m writing here with a grain of salt. This is just advice used from health and wellbeing life coaches around the world achieving results with natural methods. Everyone is different and will have different experiences even using the same methods as their peers.
Further Reading – 8 Reason to love getting in the sauna with HaveUHeard