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Saunas Give Hearts a Healthy Boost

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 12:42 PM

New research reveals a surprising new therapeutic benefit to relaxing in a sauna: getting hot and sweaty can not only release "happiness molecules" but also help your heart.
This week British science magazine New Scientist reported on the research, which found that people with chronic heart failure who took fives saunas a week for three weeks enjoyed improved heart function and a boost in their exercise endurance.
In the study, researcher Takashi Ohori and colleagues at the University of Toyama in Japan asked 41 volunteers with heart failure to take a 15-minute sauna fives time a week. After the sauna treatment, participants were asked to wrap themselves in a blanket for 30 minutes to keep their body temperatures about two degrees higher than normal.
"Sauna treatment increased the heart's ability to pump blood, and boosted the distance participants could walk in six minutes from 1,105 feet to 1,254 feet," wrote New Scientist.
The researchers also found improved function in the membrane lining the inside of the heart, which plays a role in controlling the diameter of blood vessels. The findings were published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
Thanks to the increase in body temperature, separate research has found that a sauna treatment can trigger neurons in your body to release serotonin, resulting in a feel-good sensation.
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New study finds that saunas helped heart function in people with chronic heart failure.
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Tuesday, 29 November 2011 12:42 PM
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