The effect of the sauna on the human body
The popularity of the sauna is explained by its beneficial effect on the organs and systems of the human body. A real sauna can cleanse both the body and the soul. The positive effect of the sauna on health is obvious: the heat opens the pores of the skin and removes toxins from the body. It is very useful to take a steam bath in the sauna after physical exertion and sports. Sauna is also cosmetic skin care. After regular visits to the sauna, the skin becomes elastic and healthy.
Thermoregulation is one of the main functions of the human body, aimed at maintaining a constant body temperature. Normally, heat transfer processes are balanced and constantly ongoing processes of heat transfer and heat production. The temperature conditions in the body as a whole are constant. When the ambient temperature rises in the human body, the mechanisms responsible for the release of excess heat and the prevention of overheating are activated. The main role in this process belongs to the skin. Human skin gives off excess heat mainly through the release of sweat. The intensity of sweating depends on many factors, including humidity and ambient temperature.
Our observations have shown that a 10-minute sauna session increases motor response and improves motor coordination. After a 20-minute stay, these indicators worsen. The recovery rate of various indicators depends on the length of stay in the steam room, as well as on the nature of the rest. The use of cooling procedures, such as a cool shower, contributes to the acceleration of recovery processes.
We should not forget about the psychological impact of the sauna. Mood and well-being depend largely on the methodology of the procedure, the organization of its visit, interior design, the use of additional influences.
High ambient temperature significantly activates the activity of the cardiovascular system. Staying in a steam room causes positive changes in the activity of the heart, however, with a long stay, negative changes can be observed (heart palpitations, dizziness). The study of the work of the brain showed an increase in the blood supply to the vessels of the brain, an increase in the functionality of blood circulation. A moderate and strictly dosed procedure in time and temperature conditions, carried out taking into account the functional state of the human body, does not cause negative changes.
After a properly performed procedure, the main indicators of the cardiovascular system are restored after 15-20 minutes of rest. The use of cooling procedures after visiting the steam room accelerates the recovery of indicators of the cardiovascular system. Cooling treatments can be carried out in the form of warm and cool showers, swimming in the pool. It should be remembered that abrupt cooling procedures in the form of a cold shower and swimming in the cold water of the pool can lead to additional stress on the cardiovascular system, especially in people who are unprepared, physically poorly developed or have deviations in the activity of the cardiovascular system. In addition, when taking cooling procedures, you need to remember about possible hypothermia and colds.
High ambient temperatures cause increased breathing. The mechanism of increased respiration is as follows: under the influence of hot air, a reflex constriction of the vessels of the lungs occurs, as a protective reaction of the body against overheating of the body. In this regard, reflexively quickens breathing to increase heat transfer. The regulation of the frequency and depth of breathing at high temperatures is carried out by the central nervous system and largely depends on the type of bath and the composition of the inhaled air. After entering the sauna, the depth of breathing (by 100 ml) and the vital capacity of the lungs slightly increase. In addition, sweating increases, the respiratory activity of the skin doubles.
For colds, when a lot of phlegm is formed in the lungs, a stay in the sauna has a positive effect. If the air in the booth is humidified using special infusions, decoctions (mint, needles, eucalyptus, etc.), then their effect in combination with hot air is similar to the effect of inhalation.
After being in a steam room, muscle tone decreases. Thermal effects also reduce muscle tension, soften the connective tissue and make the muscles more elastic.
In response to the thermal effect in the human body, an increase in energy metabolism is observed. Immediately after the procedure, there is a slight increase in energy exchange indicators compared to the initial data, but in the future it is restored. In this case, oxygen consumption is restored first of all. An increased release of carbon dioxide is observed for a long time after the procedure.
Reheating doesn't change the pattern of energy metabolism. Based on these data, we can conclude that trying to cut body weight by increasing energy is hardly justified.
The skin temperature of the body increases under the influence of a thermal stimulus. In this case, there is an increase in blood circulation in the skin. In the first 2 minutes of being in the sauna, the temperature rises significantly, then, due to the inclusion of thermoregulatory mechanisms and the onset of sweating, the temperature increase slows down.
It should be noted that in the sauna the temperature on the skin surface can rise to 41-42 degrees and above, which significantly activates the peripheral mechanisms of thermoregulation and stimulates sweating. Due to overheating of the skin, the vessels of the skin expand and overflow with blood, the permeability of the skin increases. The epidermis softens, the sensitivity of the skin improves, its respiratory activity increases, and its immunobiological properties increase. The thermal procedure stimulates the course of oxidative processes in the skin.
Under the influence of high temperatures, blood is redistributed, and the internal organs experience some lack of it. Due to the outflow of blood, the amount of gastric juice decreases and its concentration increases. This makes it undesirable to eat during the procedure of visiting the sauna. In the sauna, food rich in proteins is especially poorly absorbed. Fats at high temperatures of the steam room are absorbed somewhat better. This can lead to unwanted effects on the stomach and liver. To reduce the effects of fat, you should drink more fluids.
The change in body weight during a stay in the steam room occurs mainly due to moisture loss and only partially due to energy consumption. The amount of weight loss depends on the following factors:
- temperature and humidity;
- time spent in the steam room;
- a person's health status;
- individual characteristics of the organism;
- training of the thermoregulatory apparatus.
When visiting a sauna, it is always possible to adjust the weight loss. This can be done both by taking a different amount of liquid, and by changing the method of the procedure.
Body weight is one of the indicators of a person's physical development. Naturally, for each person, the mass has its own optimal limits, the excess of which indicates a violation of the proportionality of the physique, and often a violation of the activity of internal organs. As you know, overweight people are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Currently, experts have developed a sufficient number of recommendations regarding the maintenance of normal body weight. Among them, in the first place (after the diet) are various bath procedures and sports.
When using a sauna for cutting and maintaining body weight, it is necessary, first of all, to take into account the state of health. It should be remembered that forced weight loss may not be indifferent to health. It is considered acceptable (without harm to health) weight loss, not exceeding 2% of the total weight. Significant weight loss is contraindicated for adolescents, as this can adversely affect the functional state of the growing organism, slow down growth, cause metabolic disorders, and worsen the functioning of the heart and kidneys.
Weight loss is most effective when combined with massage. Massage is carried out before diaphoretic procedures. They massage the muscles of the back and legs, as well as areas of the greatest deposition of fat.
Sauna is used to prevent and treat various diseases. Numerous studies have proven the beneficial effects of the sauna on the human body. With the correct implementation of the procedure for visiting the sauna, you can effectively reduce blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension, improve the well-being of people with kidney disease, and also regulate metabolism. A significant effect of the sauna is achieved by combining them with massage in the treatment of such diseases of the peripheral and central nervous systems as sciatica, osteochondrosis, chronic polyarthritis.
One of the wonderful features of the sauna is the ability to relieve fatigue, improve mood, reduce anxiety. Due to the improvement of blood circulation (that is, the activation of oxidative, reducing processes) in damaged tissues in the steam room, injuries of muscles, ligaments and joints heal faster. For the prevention of colds, the correct alternation of warm and cold stimuli is especially important, which improves the adaptive capabilities of the main physiological systems of the body. Recently, much attention has been paid to the strength of the effect of a cold stimulus. The most benign form of such exposure is to stay in a room with cold air. For a stronger effect, a cold shower, a pool of cold water are used.
A very important indicator of the expediency of the sauna and the correct choice of the method of visiting it is good health the next morning.
Thus, the sauna contributes to maintaining the basic functions of the body at a sufficiently high level and enables people who lead a sedentary lifestyle to largely compensate for the lack of physical activity. It increases efficiency, accelerates recovery processes after significant mental and physical stress.
It is noted that regular visits to the sauna relieve fatigue, promote muscle relaxation, and train the nervous autonomic system.
The healing value of the sauna as a method of anti-stress therapy is of particular importance for the population of industrial countries.
However, not all people can visit the sauna all the time. Absolute contraindications for visiting the sauna are:
- decompensation of chronic diseases of any body systems;
- acute diseases of infectious and other nature;
- fever (high temperature);
- pronounced atherosclerosis of vessels with damage to various systems and organs;
- active tuberculosis;
- infectious skin diseases;
- malignant neoplasms;
- tendency to bleeding, thrombosis, embolism;
- severe metabolic disorders in diabetes mellitus, cachexia, hyperthyroidism;
- severe glaucoma;
- psychosis and psychopathy.