Using the Infrared Sauna and Longevity, What you need to know!

Regular Infrared Saunas and Longevity

Did you know that infrared saunas have been researched worldwide for nearly 80 years?  What does that research suggest?

Today, we are going to look at how regular sauna use can promote wellness in our lives.  Living longer, stronger, and healthier lives has become a focus in our society and new research is emerging that infrared saunas can play a role in this.  Infrared saunas tackle aging in three ways:

  1. Heart health
  2. Muscle and nerve health
  3. Immune health

Heart Health

First, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Lots of great research is coming out on how infrared saunas can play a positive role in improving heart health and hypertension

Did you know that just one sauna session has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve the flexibility of your arteries when looked at right after the session?

Also, regular sauna sessions appear to decrease your blood pressure in a similar way to exercise.  The KIHD heart study showed a reduction in cardiac death in men who more frequently used a sauna compared to men who used a sauna 1x per week:

  • 22% lower in men who used the sauna 2-3x per week
  • 63% lower in men who used the sauna 4-7x per week

If you are interested in the data on specific heart diseases such as congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, peripheral artery disease, dyslipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, left ventricular dysfunction and more, please check out section 4.2 of the complete study.   According to that study published in Science Direct, sauna use has emerged as a healthy lifestyle choice and prevention strategy that could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and related mortality!


Muscle & Nerve Health

This is exciting data, but the benefits of regular sauna use for longevity go even further when we look at the muscles and nerves.  Muscle loss is common as we age.  With each decade it seems to take longer to build muscles and harder to get muscle definition.  A recent study found that weekly sauna sessions increased activity in pathways that maintain muscle mass.  Building and maintaining muscle is a balancing act between breaking down muscle proteins and rebuilding them.  Whole body heat such as sauna use, helped tip the scales towards rebuilding muscle proteins.  (For the full scientific analysis and pathways of how sauna’s affect muscles, see section 4.7.3 in the study)

Furthermore, with age, we may start to become more aware of our mental clarity or lack of it.  Infrared saunas heat the body from the inside out.  This internal heating can trigger our bodies to create heat shock proteins (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which builds new neurons.  So why is this important?  One, these proteins help build muscles, but they are also found in areas of our brain that relate to learning and long-term memory. 

Two 20-year studies conducted in Finland found a 66% risk reduction of dementia and a 65% risk reduction of Alzheimer’s disease with regular sauna use (4-7x per week). 

Many components of regular sauna use played into these reduced risks.

Immune Health

Additionally, maintaining a healthy immune system is important as we age.  Not only do we want to ward off illness, but reduce pain, arthritis, and chances of chronic disease

Infrared saunas can trigger a natural boost in your immune system without aggravating autoimmune diseases. 

This immune boost has been shown to reduce the risk of certain respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and common colds.

During a typical infrared sauna session, around 50-70% of your blood redistributes from the center of your body out to the skin.  This promotes sweating and pushes out heavy metals like aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, and lead.  In a world where we are surrounded by pollutants, I can only imagine the benefits of regularly purging our body of heavy metals, plastics, pesticides and more.

Overall, regular use sauna increases the normal benefits of using the sauna and in some cases drastically.  In a society which understands the advantages of healthy aging, regular sauna use is a great tool to living healthier lives.  Not only does it improve heart, muscle, and nerve health, but it also boosts your immune system.  All advantages for your overall wellness!


Please note that infrared saunas are not intended to be used if you have a reduced ability to sweat, currently have a fever, are pregnant, have an acute joint injury, are intoxicated, are prone to bleeding, or are sensitive to heat.  If you have implanted hardware in your body, depending on the material, you might feel a warming in that hardware.  Please cease sauna use if it becomes too hot.  Also, recent studies have shown a reduction in sperm count in men with regular sauna use.  This is not a permanent sperm reduction.  Sperm counts return to normal when discounting using the sauna.


Clinical implications of cellular stress responses – PMC Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing_ A Systematic Review – PMC elsevier study regular sauna use

Infrared saunas are not intended to treat medical conditions.  Consult your doctor before use.  If experiencing a medical condition, please seek medical help.