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When you go to the gym, you probably make just enough time to park, get in your workout, shower, and get out of there. I get it—you have a busy day. But, you probably pay for a lot of amenities at that gym of yours that you never use, like the sauna. We shouldn’t only see saunas as luxury experiences reserved for spa days or resort vacations. Saunas have been around for over two thousand years, and enjoyed by health-conscious individuals around the world. In fact, other cultures—like the Scandinavians—often have saunas in their homes. We should perhaps follow their lead, and see them as a regular part of our routine rather than just for special occasions. If you’re trying to move away from chemicals and other unnatural sources for a health-boost and towards holistic living, here are reasons you should go in the sauna more often.

Gettyimages.com/Women in a sauna

Saunas promote real social interaction

We can bring our phones just about anywhere these days, which means we’re too busy texting or tweeting to pay attention to our friends at lunch. But you can’t bring your phones in the sauna—it’s quite bad for them—which forces some much-needed real human interaction.

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Sweat removes toxins

Sweating removes toxins from the body. Research has found some rather damaging toxins in our sweat, but that’s a good thing—it means that when we sweat, we let those out.

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Saunas help with workout recovery

Saunas actually make the day after leg day a bit less painful. Sitting in the sauna can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, which is why you should definitely take advantage of the one at your gym.

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Saunas build muscle

Sitting in the sauna can boost the human growth hormone, which is important for muscle development. So adding some sauna time to your lifting time can help you see better results.

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Heat helps you lose weight

Research has found that sitting in a sauna can actually help you burn calories and shed some pounds. It seems to be more effective, the more overweight the individual is.

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Heat helps you exercise longer

One important factor in athletic performance is heat tolerance. When your body gets too hot, you just have to stop moving. But regular sauna time increases your body’s heat tolerance so you can work out longer.

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Saunas boost immunity

Sauna time has been found to increase white blood cell count, which in turn boosts immunity. Spend some time in the sauna during cold and flu season particularly.

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Saunas improve body image

Alright, this one is from personal experience but, I’ve found that I feel better about my body after sitting in a sauna with other women. At home, alone, I obsess over my flaws, and imagine that other women are perfect. In a sauna, we all let it hang out and it turns out, none of us are perfect and, in that way, we really are all perfect.

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Heat moisturizes your hair

Heat activates the sebaceous glands in your scalp. These glands produce oils that naturally hydrate your hair, and lead to more lustrous locks.

Gettyimages.com/Also known as a sphygmomanometer it is used to measure the blood pressure of patients in a medical environment.

Saunas improve blood pressure

Studies have found that sitting in the sauna for just 30 minutes can improve blood pressure. Some experts believe this means regular sauna time can have long-term effects on blood pressure.

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Heat boosts cardiac health

Sauna sessions raise your heart rate, and regularly getting that heart rate up is an important part of cardiac health.

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Saunas reduce the chances of dementia

Research has found that individuals who go in a sauna four to seven times a week have a 66 percent lower chance of developing dementia than those that only go in once a week.

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Heat makes your skin glow

The heat of the sauna improves blood flow to your skin, which helps with new skin cell development.

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Saunas fight tension headaches

If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, you could benefit from regular sauna time. These heat boxes have been found to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

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Saunas can fight depression

Saunas are a safe enclosed space. They are quiet, warm, and resemble a mother’s womb. Research has found that sauna time can help fight depression.

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