Sauna is healthy in every season


Why visits to the sauna also make sense in summer

For many people, saunas are part of the cold season. If you want to sweat for your health, you should go to the sauna regularly - at least once a week and in every season. The abrupt changes in temperature have a positive effect all year round. "After three months of regular sauna sessions, a hardening effect of the immune system can be measured: the level of interferon in the blood rises," explained Ursula Marschall, head of the health center at the health insurance company Barmer GEK, to the "dpa" news agency. Interferon has a protective effect against virus infections.

Changing temperature stimuli in sauna courses have a health-promoting effect. Hans-Jürgen Gensow from the German Sauna Association in Bielefeld knows the phenomenon of empty saunas in summer and full saunas in winter. If the temperatures rise outdoors, public sauna baths would have about a third fewer visitors, the expert told the news agency. "If you regard the sauna as a therapeutic agent, you have to use it regularly all year round at least once a week," said Rainer Brenke, a specialist in physical medicine from Berlin, to the agency. "If you only sweat in autumn and winter, there are hardly any Changes in the body are detectable. " Brenke is particularly interested in the physiological effects of saunas, which are based on the temperature stimuli. The body temperature in the sauna rises by 1.0 to 1.5 degrees - an alarm signal for the body. Among other things, he rules with an increased immune defense in order to render possible pathogens harmless. In addition, the pulse rises and the heartbeat reaches a higher frequency. "As a result, more blood is pumped through the veins with every heartbeat," explained Dirk Peters from the German Wellness Association in Düsseldorf to the news agency. The vessels expand when they are hot and contract again when they cool down. This also promotes blood circulation and the muscles There is also an improvement in the complexion. "The blood flow to the nasal mucous membranes is also improved," Marschall reported. "This prevents colds because it strengthens the natural protection against inflammation in the mucous membrane."

Hardening effect for Finnish sauna scientifically proven The doctor and health economist further explains that so far there have been no studies on the effect of different temperatures and degrees of humidity on the hardening effect. "There are a number of studies that suggest that the physiological effects of a classic Finnish sauna and a steam bath are very similar," added Peters. "It can often be observed that a dry sauna with temperatures of 90 to 100 degrees Celsius for men On the other hand, women would prefer a steam bath more often because their mucous membranes are more sensitive to the nasal septum. In general, people with respiratory problems benefit more from a steam bath. "The moist air moisturizes the mucous membranes well," said Brenke. Additives like eucalyptus could also alleviate the symptoms. "However, the circulatory load is higher because sweating is hampered by the moisture."

Follow sauna rules Before the first sauna session, the body should be cleaned and dried, since dry skin sweats faster. Ideally, the individual sauna sessions last ten to 20 minutes. Cool down after each round. Sufficient fluid must be added in the subsequent resting phase. These rules apply in every season.

In autumn and winter, it is not easy for many to cool off after a sauna session. "In the summer, on the other hand, the cold kick is a welcome refreshment," explained Gensow. At high temperatures, sauna baths with attractive outdoor areas are particularly in demand similarly tingling feeling as if you rubbed yourself with snow after the sauna bath. "

In general, certain groups of people should be careful when taking a sauna. This applies, among other things, to people with severe varicose veins or other venous vascular diseases. If you suffer from a chronic illness, you cannot avoid talking to a doctor about possible health risks before your first visit to the sauna. Especially in the case of cardiovascular or vascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias (fluttering, rapid heartbeat) or asthma, a sauna session can be very beneficial, but it can also pose a health hazard. In principle, the sauna should not be visited for circulatory problems such as dizziness. Alcohol and saunas are also not compatible.

When it comes to saunas, individual resilience is crucial, says Marschall. "These can be tested well on a bicycle ergometer." For newcomers to the sauna, it is important to take it slow. According to Marshal, it was sufficient to take a sauna up to three days a week. The lowest level should be selected first. Even with the duration, it is advisable to be careful. For beginners, ten to twelve minutes were sufficient. (ag)

Image: Espressolia / pixelio.de

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