Let me repeat the headline:
There is a 40% decrease in ALL CAUSE MORTALITY for men who use the sauna 5-7 times per week.
I’ve been obsessed with sauna use (wet or dry, not steam rooms) since I was introduced to a Turkish bathhouse in Chicago called Red Square about four years ago.
Shortly after going to the sauna regularly and feeling amazing, I stumbled on Dr. Rhonda Patrick (via JRE, of course), and thankfully she is also fascinated by the health benefits of sauna use.
Must be over 174 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes per session, 5-7x per week
How do I keep myself occupied for 20-30 minutes in the sauna?
- AirPods are fantastic in the sauna. No heat or water damage issues so far, so I listen to podcasts, tunes, or a meditation app (Headspace, Waking Up).
- Good ol’ fashion paperback books! You can easily bring one in, but expect some water damage. You can waterproof the covers by wrapping them in a heavy duty tape.
The above clip is a little older but summarizes some of the wonderful benefits, but for those who are interested in taking a deep dive, check out the below study from the Mayo Clinic.
Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence
Sauna bathing, an activity that has been a tradition in Finland for thousands of years and mainly used for the purposes of pleasure and relaxation, is becoming increasingly popular in many other populations. Emerging evidence suggests that beyond its use for pleasure, sauna bathing may be linked to several health benefits, which include reduction in the risk of vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and neurocognitive diseases; nonvascular conditions such as pulmonary diseases; mortality; as well as amelioration of conditions such as arthritis, headache, and flu. The beneficial effects of sauna bathing on these outcomes have been linked to its effect on circulatory, cardiovascular, and immune functions. It has been postulated that regular sauna bathing may improve cardiovascular function via improved endothelium-dependent dilatation, reduced arterial stiffness, modulation of the autonomic nervous system, beneficial changes in circulating lipid profiles, and lowering of systemic blood pressure.
Dr Patrick has a great podcast and emailer of her own, you can find more information on those on her site. The podcast tends to get in the weeds a bit since she is talking to other scientists and people who are much smarter than me. But all of her conversations with Joe Rogan are great because Joe does a great job of making it easy to digest and brings her back down to Earth so people like you and I can understand.
Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, Keto Reset, and Primal Kitchen recently released a great summary of the health benefits as well. Check that out here.