Sauna Is Like A Light Workout
Contrary to the previous assumption, blood pressure does not drop during a sauna session — it rises. And this increase is even comparable to the increase caused by a short, moderate workout. This is one of the conclusions of a recent study carried out by sports scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in collaboration with the Medical Center Berlin (MCB).
It is generally assumed that a sauna visit leads to a continuous fall in blood pressure. “It was thought that the heat dilates the blood vessels and that this lowers the blood pressure,” says Dr Sascha Ketelhut, lead author of the new study and a sports scientist at MLU.
Ketelhut says: “Saunas can actually be used by anyone who can tolerate moderate physical stress without discomfort. However, people with low blood pressure should be cautious afterwards, as their blood pressure may then fall below the levels registered before the sauna visit.”
“A sauna session is a physical strain. Its long-term positive effects are similar to sports activities,” explains Ketelhut. Nevertheless, the healthy sweating does not contribute to weight loss: “The effect is too low as there is no muscle activity. Although we lose weight in the sauna, but these are just the fluids that we sweat out. One should rehydrate after a sauna session, though,” concludes Ketelhut.