Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Do You Intentionally get Hot?

Getting hot intentionally

 Do you intentionality get hot through sauna, hot baths, infra red, steam showers?

We hear a lot of talk today about intentionally getting cold, cold plunges, for good reason. There are endless benefits to cold exposure. What about heat, sauna therapy? Are there any health benefits and should you be adding it into your healthy routine?

Here is a run down of some of the health benefits of heat therapy:

Muscle- blood is pumped into your muscles as your core temperature heats up, bringing nutrients, oxygen and takes out damaged parts of the cells, similar to exercise. If you aren't a big fan of exercise, or can't for some reason, heat therapy provides similar benefits to muscles as exercise. Unless you are unable to exercise, heat therapy shouldn't be a replacement for exercise, but an option, a way to get in a "cardio" workout.

Bone- blood is sent to the bones which in turn increases nutrients and the release of stem cells from the bones. These stem cells are able to self-renew and become other cells from muscle to brain to blood to other organs. An increase in the release of stem cells can help the body heal, repair and regenerate itself. Deep levels of healing.

Immune support- important heat shock proteins are released improving the overall immune system. Antioxidants are also increased throughout the body furthering the immune benefits.

Brain support- reduction in cognitive decline.

Heart, blood flow- due to the increase in blood flow from the heat, helps the veins and arteries, small endothelial cells, dilates blood vessels, decreases high blood pressure. Increases heart rate variability, this the time between heart beats, the more variance the healthier you are.

Lungs- improvement in lung capacity, function and breathing, a great time to practice deep breathing exercises. You can increase the benefits of breathing by adding in essential oils such a s eucalyptuses, rosemary, frankincense, peppermint or any of your favorite oils.    

Anti-aging and supports longevity. Improves skin health with the increase in blood flow.

Anti-inflammatory, reduce the amount of inflammation throughout the body. It also aids in moving the lymphatic system which further decreases inflammation throughout the body, improves circulation and immune health.

Anytime we work up a good sweat we are detoxing the body. Sauna/heat therapy can help in detoxing heavy metals from the body as well. If you are concerned about heavy metals and detoxing, be sure to add in heat therapy several times a week.

Aids in blood sugar control, increases insulin sensitivity, improves metabolic health similar to how exercise does. You are increasing your heart rate and shuttling blood into the muscle, the body is working hard to combat the heat, this helps our muscles better use the insulin, sugar, from the food we have eaten. Similar to waiting after eating before exercising for digestion, apply similar principals to heat therapy. You want your body to digest your food, keep the blood in your stomach not ship it out into your muscles due to getting hot. 

Benefits are seen for up to 48 hours after your session. The more you practice heat therapy, the more benefits you receive from each session. Your body becomes more efficient and healthier the longer you practice heat therapy.  

Helps your ability to deal with the heat of summer. 

When using a sauna with friends, as is common in other countries, you are also receiving the benefits from being with others, having conversations, connecting, knowing and being known, time spent with others is extremely important to our overall health and well being. Maybe you and your friends aren't into hitting the gym together, why not hit the sauna together instead for all of the amazing health benefits of getting hot plus time spent together. 

Yup, there is a list of health benefits from intentionality getting hot. I am sure as the years go on, we will discover even more health benefits to heat therapy. No reason to wait, go get hot and be with others. 

In gratitude and kindness                                                                                                                        Jenn

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