Sauna and longevity

Sauna and longevity

How to maximise the health benefits of sauna use

Key points of the article

  1. Benefits comparable to exercise: the use of infrared saunas offers health benefits similar to exercise, including improvements in cardiovascular health, endurance and athletic performance by increasing body and muscle temperature.
  2. Heat shock proteins (HSPs): HSPs are activated during sauna use, helping to maintain the correct conformation and function of proteins, crucial for cellular health and disease prevention.
  3. Far infrared saunas: far infrared saunas are recommended for their therapeutic benefits, with ideal temperatures between 120-140°F, gradually increasing as the user becomes accustomed.
  4. Detoxification through sweat: regular use of the sauna helps detoxify the body through sweat, eliminating toxins such as microplastics and xenoestrogens.
  5. Complementing a healthy lifestyle: sauna use should complement a healthy lifestyle. Start with 20-minute sessions at 120°F, using it every 3-4 days once accustomed, avoiding excessive frequency.
  6. Photobiomodulation (PBM): photobiomodulation is a therapeutic process where infrared light penetrates tissues, improving cell function and tissue repair.

F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications

Longevity benefits of sauna use

The use of saunas, especially infrared saunas, has been shown to offer numerous health benefits that can contribute to a longer and healthier life. Here are some of the most salient benefits:

  1. Improved cardiovascular health: the sauna increases body and muscle temperature, improving blood circulation. This improvement in cardiovascular health can reduce the risk of heart disease, a key factor for a long life.
  2. Increased endurance and sports performance: heat acclimatisation improves endurance and physical performance, which contributes to maintaining a healthy level of physical activity throughout life.
  3. Activation of HSPs: heat shock proteins (HSPs) help protect cells from damage by ensuring that proteins fold and function properly. This is crucial for cellular health and the prevention of chronic diseases related to ageing.

The importance of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in longevity

HSPs are essential for maintaining cellular health, especially as we age. These proteins are produced in response to thermal stress, such as that experienced in a sauna, and play a vital role in:

  • Maintain protein conformation: they ensure that proteins fold correctly, which is vital for their biological function.
  • Cell protection: they repair or remove damaged proteins, protecting cells from damage, an important factor for a long and healthy life.


Photobiomodulation and longevity

Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a process by which light of certain spectrums, especially near infrared (near IR), penetrates tissues and exerts therapeutic effects. This therapy can offer numerous benefits that support longevity:

  1. Improved mitochondrial function: PBM optimises mitochondrial function, enhancing cellular energy production, crucial for maintaining vitality over the years.
  2. Reducing inflammation: Infrared light helps reduce inflammation, benefiting a wide range of inflammatory conditions and contributing to the prevention of chronic diseases.
  3. Stimulation of tissue repair: by penetrating deep into tissues, PBM promotes cell repair and regeneration, accelerating recovery from injury and maintaining tissue integrity over time.

Benefits of Far Infrared Radiation (FIR)

Studies on far infrared radiation (FIR) have demonstrated multiple health benefits, including improved cardiac and vascular function, reduced oxidative stress and improved quality of life in patients with various health conditions, such as type II diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

IRF therapy has also been used to treat conditions such as primary dysmenorrhoea, proving effective in increasing local body temperature, improving abdominal blood flow and reducing pain and discomfort.

To take advantage of these benefits, it is essential to use high quality FIR emitting devices, such as far infrared saunas and FIR emitting ceramic materials, which can be integrated into garments to provide continuous therapy.

Incorporating FIR therapy into your routine can be an excellent addition to a holistic approach to health, promoting longevity and overall well-being.

Kinds of saunas

  1. Far infrared saunas: These saunas are highly recommended for their therapeutic benefits and their detoxifying capacity. Ideal temperatures range from 120-140°F, gradually increasing as the user becomes accustomed.
  2. Near infrared (near IR) saunas: although they can penetrate deeper into the tissues, it is almost impossible to be close enough to the light source in a sauna environment to get a therapeutic dose without risk of burns. Although effective for detoxification, they do not offer the photobiomodulation benefits attributed to them.
  3. Traditional steam saunas: use a steam generator to heat the air to high temperatures, which induces sweating and improves circulation. These saunas can provide a relaxing experience, but do not have the same specific benefits as far infrared.
  4. Dry saunas: use dry heat, usually from a wood or electric cooker, to heat the air. These saunas can aid in relaxation and improve circulation, but do not offer the additional benefits of infrared saunas.

Recommendations for sauna use

Ideal temperatures

  • Initial: start with 120°F and 20-minute sessions.
  • Progression: gradually increase temperature by 2°F each week, eventually reaching 130-140°F.
  • Experienced users: can use temperatures between 160-170°F, but it is not necessary to start at such high temperatures.

Detoxification and elimination of toxins

Regular sauna use promotes detoxification through sweating, removing environmental toxins such as microplastics and xenoestrogens. It is advisable to use a low EMF personal sauna to optimise results and avoid exposure to toxins from other users.

Frequency of use

To maximise benefits without going overboard:

  • Beginners: daily use for 10-11 days to acclimatise.
  • Regular users: every 3 days for maintenance, or every other day.

Final considerations

Sauna use is an advanced health technique that can complement a healthy lifestyle, which should include proper nutrition, daily exercise and optimising vitamin D levels. Incorporating sauna use can offer significant benefits, but should always be part of a holistic approach to health and longevity.

For those seeking a long and healthy life, sauna longevity is an effective strategy. Far infrared saunas, in particular, are noted for their therapeutic and detoxifying benefits. Remember that, along with a healthy lifestyle, sauna longevity can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing.

Dr. Carmen Romero

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This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult with a health professional to discuss the use of sauna and photobiomodulation in your wellness routine.