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Sweaty but Longer-Lived

Regular Sauna Use Boosts Heart Health

Americans don't generally spend much time in saunas, but a new study from Finland suggests they'd be doing their hearts a favor if they began sweating it out in one regularly. The 20-year study of over 2,000 middle-aged Finnish men found that the more often they used a sauna, the lower their risk of death due to cardiological causes such as sudden heart attack, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease. Specifically, while 10 percent of those who spent time in a sauna once a week suffered such a fatality, the risk fell to 8 percent for those who hit the sauna two or three times a week, and to just 5 percent for those who did so four days per week or more. Doctors speculated that stress-reducing relaxation and improved circulation may be responsible for the linkage.

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