The recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine provides strong evidence that sauna use adds years to your life. More impressive is the dose-response relationship showing greater benefits from longer, more regular sauna sessions.
The untold story is better quality of life, which has consistently been found in prior studies involving all types of thermal therapy. Although the mechanisms underlying sauna benefits are not well understood, the cardiovascular effects appear to be analogous to those induced by aerobic exercise.
Our laboratory, the Exercise, Technology & Cognition Laboratory within the department of Kinesiology & Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been researching exercise plus heat therapy. We have found the combination yields more powerful effects on physical and cognitive outcomes than exercise alone. This work will be presented/published here: sbm.org/meetings/2015.
Editor’s Note: This was originally published on February 26, 2015.
Sean Mullen, Ph.D
Sean Mullen, Ph.D., is assistant professor of Kinesiology & Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.