Is sauna a secret of super agers (mental and physical people 85 plus)? There are many science backed reasons that strengthen this thesis.
Maybe you find that thinking of being a super ager is still too far away. But if you don`t want having to move into a nursing home, you better start checking your lifestyle habits early. The reason is that for nearly half of the population over 85 reality is life in a nursing home. What is even worse is the fact that an estimated 50-70% of residents suffer from dementia. So if your vision is to enjoy life for a long time, you might start study secrets of super agers now!
Hot Facts Why Sauna is A Secret For Super Agers
Sauna Lowers Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events
A Study in Finland found that increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all-cause mortality.
This requires sauna bathing 4 to 7 times per week and sauna sessions lasting more than 19 minutes.
How Sauna Can Improve Super Agers` Heart Health
High blood pressure is very common in older people. As we age, our vascular system changes. Our arteries get stiffer, so blood pressure goes up. What does science say about the effects of sauna on our heart health!
Sauna Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
“The cardiovascular effects of sauna have been well documented in the past. It lowers blood pressure, and there is every reason to believe that its effects are good for blood vessels,” says Dr. Thomas H. Lee, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital .
Sauna Can Improve Super Agers´ Arteries
According to the Mayo Clinic sauna bathing leads to positive alterations in measures of arterial stiffness such as pulse wave velocity.
Sauna Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Polish researchers did several studies with younger men and women to study the effect of sauna on cholesterol levels. Their findings suggests positive effects.
How Sauna can Reduce Risk Of Dementia and Alzheimer Disease
According to research published by the Mayo Clinic “emerging recent evidence suggests that sauna exposure may have protective effects on neurocognitive disease. In a population-based prospective cohort study by Laukkanen looked at healthy Finnish men aged 42 to 60 years at baseline. Men who had 4 to 7 sauna sessions/wk compared with those who had 1 sauna session/wk had a 66% and 65% reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease, respectively.”
Sauna Statistics – Boost Immune Health For Super Agers
The effects of aging on the immune system are manifest at multiple levels. As a result, elderly individuals do not respond to immune challenge as robustly as the young. So what can we do to boost our immune health to become super agers? According to the Mayo Clinic “There is also evidence that sauna exposure could boost the immune system.”
“Sauna bathing was observed to halve the incidence of common colds in the sauna group during the last 3 months of the study period”.
How Sauna Can Help Super Agers to Reduce their Pneumonia Risk
According to Healthline “almost 1 million adults ages 65 years or over are hospitalized with pneumonia each year in the United States. “Two mains reasons are:
- the immune system naturally decreases with age.
- Older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions. Two of them are chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or heart disease. Both can increase their risk for pneumonia.
A study by N J Cox 1, G M Oostendorp, H T Folgering, C L van Herwaarden measured a significant improvement of the lung function parameters. This means that patients with an obstructive pulmonary disease can take part in sauna programs without obtaining bronchus contractions. Furthermore, sauna visits can even cause lead to improvement of lung function.
“In a separate analysis limited to pneumonia cases, having regular sauna baths was also associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia.”
What (potential) Super Agers Should Keep in Mind before Sauna Bathing
“Sauna users in both Finnish-style and infrared sauna reported a some side effects:
- mild to moderate heat discomfort and intolerance
- low blood pressure/light-headedness
- transient leg pain in another study
- airway irritation in two studies
- claustrophobia in one study no severe adverse symptoms reported in any studies.
- The highest intensity of adverse effects (moderate levels of heat intolerance) occurred in populations afflicted with
- chronic fatigue syndrome,
- chronic pain,
- rheumatoid arthritis, and
- ankylosing spondylitis.
- All of these conditions are all associated with inflammation and abnormal immune responses. Thus it may be that the heat and/or increased sweating of sauna activity is modulating some of these responses.”
According to another study sauna takers should avoid bathing during acute respiratory infections. To be on the safe side, ask your health care provider before visiting a sauna.
Create The Super Agers` Sauna Habit
Becoming a super ager is work. The problem is that “Chronic diseases, often referred to as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), already start in middle age. They are often a consequence of a long exposure to an unhealthy lifestyle. This is often caused by tobacco use and a lack of regular physical activity. In addition consumption of diets rich in highly saturated fats, sugars, and salt, typified by “fast foods.” This lifestyle results in higher levels of risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and obesity. They all act independently and synergistically.” Therefore, we need to create daily powerful habits that promote a healthy lifestyle.
While going to a spa or fitness studio once or twice a week definitely has its benefits, the most effective lifestyle improvements come with at least four visits per week.
Therefore, purchasing a home sauna could be a great long term investment in health and well-being.
A Word from HealthyLifestyleFlorida.com
Avoiding life in a nursing home needs to start in middle age as our health and well-being are often the result of our lifestyle choices and habits. But having a fit brain and body when older than 85 is definitely a worthwhile goal. Especially because many of us will have to live on our own at that stage of life. So sauna bathing is a pleasurable activity, especially in colder months, that will have positive impacts on our goal to become a super ager one day. To add some variety to your sauna routine, try sauna yoga and enjoy a gain in flexibility.