Strokes and Sauna Use For Seniors

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As we age, our immune system gets weaker, and we become much more susceptible to health problems. Did you know that strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States? It causes more significant long-term disability than any other disease, and older people are at higher risk for stroke. Unfortunately, we hear about the stroke so much in our daily lives, but strokes are definitely not a laughing matter.

What To Know About Strokes

There are two types of strokes: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. If you’ve had a stroke before, the chances are that it was an ischemic stroke. Almost all strokes are of this kind; roughly eighty-seven percent are ischemic. This kind of stroke can happen when blood through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood for our brain gets blocked. This blockage keeps oxygen from getting to brain cells and other parts of the brain, resulting in a stroke. Often, blood clots are the main culprit of an ischemic stroke.

As mentioned earlier, there are also hemorrhagic strokes. These are much less likely to happen. When it does occur, an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures, that blood will damage the brain cells and cause a stroke. After a stroke, people can have problems speaking, thinking, and walking. Overall, strokes are one of the worst things that can happen to you. If you want to learn more about strokes and their causes, I highly recommend reading about them on the CDC website.

Decreasing The Chances Of A Stroke

According to the National Institute of Health, there are some actions you can take to reduce your chances of stroke. First, controlling your blood pressure will be a massive step in the right direction. Also, quitting smoking will significantly decrease your chances of having a stroke. Smoking increases the risk of all types of problems, including heart disease, strokes, cholesterol control, and diabetes. In addition, you should consider eating healthy foods and exercising regularly to decrease your chances of having a stroke. Lastly, we can benefit from the use of saunas.

Strokes And Sauna Use

A study published in Neurology makes the case that older adults who regularly sit in a hot sauna are less likely to suffer a stroke. The study followed more than 1600 Finnish adults between the ages of 53 and 74. At the beginning of the study, no one had a history of a stroke. During the study, these adults used a sauna anywhere from one to five times a week.

Over the next 15 years, the people in this study had 155 strokes in all. The stroke rate was actually lowest among the participants who used a sauna four to seven times a week. Other factors might explain the results like smoking, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but the study’s conductors still found the benefits of sauna use. You can read the review here: Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women.

The Benefits of Sauna Use

I recommend that you either use a dry sauna or an infrared sauna. A dry sauna has rocks in it, and you pour water over the rocks to heat it even more. Infrared saunas are newer, they’re not as hot but are still as effective as using a dry sauna. There are many benefits of sauna use. For instance, the heat exposure will increase the temperature of our skin and our core body temperature. When this happens, it activates thermoregulatory pathways via the hypothalamus. Which, in turn, will increase heart rate, blood flow, and sweat. Thus, having a positive impact on our cardiovascular system.

While on the other hand, an infrared sauna will heat your body from the core. In comparison, a dry sauna will heat the air, while an infrared sauna warms your body directly. In fact, this infrared technology can help clean our bodies of infections and toxins through cellular repair. Our bodies have the natural tendency to heal; we just have to give it a proper nudge in the right direction. Using an infrared sauna is one way to do so. An infrared sauna will help with circulation problems and can even have massive benefits on mental health. Overall, sauna use is beneficial for cellular function, skin health, recovery, and inflammation. If you want to learn more about the benefits of infrared sauna, check out this Healthline article: Is an Infrared Sauna Better Than a Traditional Sauna?

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