Fall is upon us, and that means cold and flu season is incoming (yikes!). But instead of panicking and getting ourselves worked up about how we’re going to deal with the inevitable sickness…we can choose to be prepared! Sauna bathing is one way to support your immune system—before, during, and after sickness—especially with regular sessions. Let’s dig into the ways sauna bathing could help boost your immune system this season:
Saunas Simulate Fever
While fevers are never enjoyable, they can be critical in helping your body fight off illness. In the case of sauna bathing, raising your body’s core temperature can be helpful in preparing your body to battle viruses and illness. Regular sauna bathing can help your body kickstart increased production of white blood cell count—your body’s first defense against viruses.
Sauna Bathing Can Help the Body Eliminate Toxins
At the Sweat Shack, there are two types of sauna bathing you can do—Kuuma Sauna or an Urban Heat Cabin. Both offer detoxifying benefits. The difference: löyly. This is the act of sprinkling water on hot stones to create steam. In a Kuuma Sauna, you’re paired with hot stones, a blend of water and essential oils, and chromotherapy (infrared light). An Urban Heat Cabin offers similar detoxifying benefits, just at a lower temperature and without steam.
All this to say: whether you’re in a Kuuma Finnish Sauna or an Urban Heat Cabin, you’re going to sweat. Sweat helps your body release toxins. While sweat itself is 99% water, when you do something like sauna bathing, your body is sweating for a longer period of time at a higher-than-usual temperature, and therefore can help reduce traces of lead, copper, zinc, mercury, and other chemicals.
Cold Plunging Can Help Regulate Immune Function
Norepinephrine is both a neurotransmitter and hormone that helps regulate your fight or flight response. It increases your heart rate and can help regulate your immune function. Exposure to cold in instances such as a cold plunge can increase norepinephrine by 200-300%.
A study in England found that taking a cold shower every day increases the number of disease-fighting white blood cells. The research in this study suggested that as the body tries to warm itself up after the cold shower, the metabolic rate speeds up and activates the immune system, thus releasing more white blood cells. The same type of response can happen during cold plunges. When you combine the heat from a sauna or heat cabin and counteract it with the cold in a cold plunge, your immune system can get the boost it needs to fight off any infection.
Get a Boost
It’s important to support your immune system all year, but especially during cold and flu season. So whether you’re a sauna bathing pro or you’ve never stepped foot in a studio, giving your immune system a sauna bathing boost has the potential to help your body fight off infection and illness. If you’re ready to take the plunge, book your session at the Sweat Shack today!