Hypertension in men is the major factor for developing heart disease. So if you are suffering from increased blood pressure, go for sauna bathing more often. A new study has shown that frequent sauna bathing helps in regulating blood pressure in men. During the research, it was found that men who have a sauna four to seven times a week had 50 per cent lower risk of developing hypertension than men who have only once a week.
In men with a sauna frequency of two to three times a week there was a decrease of 24 per cent. Sauna bathing decreases the systemic blood pressure through different biological mechanisms. During sauna bathing, the body temperature may rise up to 2 degrees Celsius, causing vessels' vasodilation -- the dilatation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure, said Francesco Zaccardi, from the Diabetes Research Centre in the University of Leicester.
Regular sauna bathing improves endothelial function, i.e. the function of the inside layer of blood vessels, which has beneficial effects on systemic blood pressure, Zaccardi added in the paper published in the American Journal of Hypertension.In addition, those taking a sauna frequently may also have a lower risk of pulmonary diseases - lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe. Previous research has shown that frequent sauna bathing reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
For the study, the team involved 1,621 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. Based on their sauna bathing habits, men were divided into three sauna frequency groups: those taking a sauna once a week, two to three times a week, or four to seven times a week. During an average follow-up of 22 years, 15.5 per cent of the men developed clinically defined hypertension, the researchers said.
Sauna was invented in Finland over 2000 years ago. It is not only a place to bathe but also to relax and enjoy.
(With IANS inputs)