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Mastery Mondays

Passions & Strengths

Building A Sauna

My brother-in-law has plans to build a sauna in his backyard. He is a very resourceful guy and does what he sets his mind to do. When he dives into something, he does it with an intense passion - I would say that is one of his main strengths as a person.

He is just getting into the trend of cold plunging and also wants to include a sauna in his daily wellness regime. 

The health benefits from a sauna are great! If you google the health benefits of a sauna, you will find that they are vast. Saunas help with detoxification, increased metabolism, weight loss, increased blood circulation, pain reduction, antiaging, skin rejuvenation, improved cardiovascular function, improved immune function, improved sleep, stress management, and relaxation.

When my brother-in-law realized the immense benefit of having a sauna, his brain started figuring out the best way for him to build one right in his own backyard. He is healthy, but is in his 40s and is looking for ways to maintain good health as he ages. He is passionate about it and it is contagious.

I do not live in a home with a yard big enough to house a sauna - but my brain has been reeling trying to figure out how to put one in my home as well. The thought of being able to relax in a sauna sounds amazing. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your health, consider building a sauna at your home. There are many ways to do it - and it might just be the best thing you ever do for yourself!

Recommended Book

The Sauna and Cold Plunge Experience

Nov 06, 2023
ISBN: 9798988217640

Interesting Fact #1

Sauna use improves the health of our brains. A 20-year study of more than 2,300 participants was conducted by Dr. Jari Laukkanen and his colleagues at the University of Eastern Finland. This study found that regular sauna use (4 to 7 times per week) at 176 degrees Fahrenheit for 19 minutes lowered the patients’ risk for both Alzheimer’s and Dementia.


Interesting Fact #2

Saunas help with pain management. Enveloped in a sauna’s high heat, our bodies will release endorphins. These endorphins produce a mild, enjoyable “tranquilizing effect,” and enable us to minimize the pain caused by joint and muscle soreness. Whether you’re an athlete in training or someone who suffers from arthritis, it’s worth checking in with your naturopathic physician to find out if you can take advantage of the sauna’s soothing relief.


Interesting Fact #3

Saunas improve sleep. Research shows that a deeper, more relaxed sleep occurs in patients who utilize the sauna before turning in for the evening. Both endorphins and body temperatures tend to become elevated in the late evening and then begin to decline around bedtime. This slow, relaxing decline is key in facilitating sleep.


Quote of the day

“A morning contrast shower works as a gym, sauna and spa in your bathroom.” ― Stan Jacobs

Article of the day - Benefits of sauna bathing for heart health

Next time you’re at the gym, don’t skip the sauna after your workout. Try not to think of it as an indulgence — though it is relaxing. Instead, see it as a smart decision for your heart health. 

What is sauna bathing?

Saunas have been around for thousands of years. Sauna bathing is a form of heat therapy that takes place in a room heated by burning wood, electricity or special infrared light waves. A sauna may reach temperatures between 158 and 212 Fahrenheit. It’s considered dry heat — the relative humidity in a typical sauna tends to stay between 10% and 20%.

Many people sit in saunas for relaxation and general wellness. But experts believe sauna bathing may offer benefits for:

  • Arthritis 
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cold symptoms
  • Muscle soreness
  • Psoriasis
  • Stress

Sauna and heart health

Sitting in a sauna may be particularly good for your heart. The heat can raise your skin temperature and cause heavy sweating — just a short time in the sauna can produce a pint of sweat. As your body attempts to keep cool, your heart rate increases and may reach 100-150 beats per minute.

Sauna bathing (and an increased heart rate) causes your blood vessels to open, increases circulation and reduces stress levels — like the effects of low or moderate exercise. As a result, sitting in a sauna also benefits:

Blood pressure

Evidence over the past few decades shows that sauna bathing has an immediate positive effect on blood pressure. But for a bigger benefit, combine your sauna bathing with exercise. Recent research finds that using the sauna for 15 minutes after a workout, three times a week, results in a more significant improvement in blood pressure than exercise alone.

Total cholesterol

High blood cholesterol — a waxy substance in your cells — is a major risk factor for heart disease. Lowering your total blood cholesterol by 10% can decrease your risk of heart disease by 30%. The good news is that sweating can raise your good cholesterol levels (HDL) to improve your total cholesterol.

Exercise will certainly help you work up a sweat, and sauna bathing on its own can also reduce total cholesterol levels. But combining the two — sitting in a sauna after your workout — has a more significant effect on total cholesterol.

Cardiovascular respiratory fitness level

Cardiovascular respiratory fitness (CRF) is your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles and organs during physical activity. A higher CRF level can decrease your risk of heart disease and death. 

Regular exercise is one way to improve CRF levels. But whether your CRF levels are high or low, research shows that sauna bathing following exercise is beneficial. If your CRF level is low, exercise followed by 15 minutes in the sauna improves CRF more than exercise alone. If your CRF level is high, adding sauna bathing to your workout routine can reduce your risk of heart-related death, including sudden cardiac death.

Risk of death from heart-related disease

Heart disease causes one out of every five deaths in the United States. And sudden cardiac death (SCD) often has no warning signs. Research shows that sauna bathing may be able to help lower your risk of heart disease. One study followed 2,300 sauna bathers for 20 years and found that the participants who visited the sauna more frequently (four to seven times a week) had lower death rates from heart disease and stroke.

Using a sauna safely

Sauna bathing is relatively safe. But to avoid any unwanted health issues related to sauna use, remember to:

  • Drink a lot of water before, during and after sauna use to avoid dehydration and replace the fluids lost. 
  • Limit sauna sessions to 20 minutes, with new sauna bathers starting with shorter sessions (five to 10 minutes) and building up to 20 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol before or during sauna bathing because it increases the risk of dehydration.

Talk to your primary care physician (PCP) before using a sauna if you are pregnant or have low blood pressure — sauna bathing can cause blood pressure to fall.

Question of the day - What is a relaxation activity that you are passionate about?

Passions & Strengths

What is a relaxation activity that you are passionate about?