Sauna treatment can lower blood pressure, study finds

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Sauna heat therapy is becoming more popular for improving heart health, and a study at Brigham Young University in Utah found that it can lower blood pressure in middle-aged people.

The researchers discovered that their specific sauna technique also lowered body core temperature more than methods used in previous studies.

They shared their findings at the American Physiology Summit in Long Beach, California.

Saunas are a type of passive heat therapy that can benefit overall cardiovascular health.

High blood pressure can lead to severe health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. It can also damage your arteries, making it harder for blood and oxygen to reach your heart.

The recent study was inspired by earlier research from Finland, which showed that people who used saunas for at least 19 minutes or more often had a lower risk of developing heart problems than those who didn’t.

The new research found that the physical response to a single sauna session was the same for both young and middle-aged adults.

The study involved 10 men and women aged 18 to 30 and eight men and women aged 50 to 64.

The participants spent 40 minutes in a sauna, divided into 20-minute sessions at 176 degrees Fahrenheit, and no negative effects were observed.

The team says this suggests scientists may not need to go to extremes to see improvements in cardiovascular health when using heat therapy over a longer period of time.

This information comes from the American Physiological Society.

How to prevent high blood pressure

Preventing high blood pressure involves making healthy lifestyle choices and being mindful of your overall health. Here are some tips to help you prevent high blood pressure:

Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. Aim for a healthy weight by balancing calorie intake with regular physical activity.

Exercise regularly: Engage in moderate aerobic activities, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Regular exercise helps keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, which can help prevent high blood pressure.

Eat a balanced diet: Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a great example of a balanced eating plan that can help lower blood pressure.

Limit sodium intake: Too much sodium can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure. Aim to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

To reduce sodium intake, avoid processed foods, use herbs and spices to flavor your food, and read food labels to check sodium content.

Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol in moderation can potentially have some health benefits, but excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure. Stick to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Don’t smoke: Smoking raises your blood pressure and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you smoke, seek help to quit, and avoid secondhand smoke as well.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or other relaxation exercises.

Monitor your blood pressure: Regularly check your blood pressure to detect any changes and address them before they become a problem. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should check your blood pressure.

Get enough sleep: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep can negatively affect your blood pressure.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about how your eyes could help diagnose high blood pressure, and marijuana may strongly increase death risk in high blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.

The study was conducted by Olivia Leach et al.

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