Saunas cut the risk of heart problems for men


A new study has shown that men who use saunas regularly reduce their risk of heart attack by nearly two thirds. So guys, it’s time to head to the spa and sweat it out in the sauna.

The study, by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland monitored 2,315 men aged between 42 and 60 for a period of 20 years. The remarkable findings, published in the latest edition of Jama Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association, revealed that those who had visited saunas the most frequently – and most notably – for longer periods – were the least likely to have died from heart attacks.

And the results are impressive. It discovered that middle-aged men who use a sauna four to seven times a week can cut their risk of a heart attack. And not just by a slim margin – by nearly two thirds, compared with those who never use a sauna.

Using the sauna two to three times a week reduces the risk of death by heart attack by 22 per cent. Jump in the sauna four to seven times a week and you are 63 per cent less likely to die from cardiac arrest.

Staying in for longer – 19 minutes improves the benefit even more.

More generally – the sauna helps to reduce problems of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease by similar levels too.

Dr Rita Redberg, editor of Jama Internal Medicine and a scientist at the University of California commented: “Although we do not know why the men who went to saunas more frequently had greater longevity – whether it’s the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time, or the camaraderie of the sauna – clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent.”

Picture courtesy of Dormy House.