February is American Heart Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In fact, one in every three deaths is attributed to heart disease and stroke—equal to 2,200 deaths per day.
There are a lot of known ways to keeping yourself heart healthy: exercise, healthy balanced eating, and the right amount of sleep all contribute to a vital heart. Another way to help maintain a healthy heart is by soaking in a hot tub or sessions in an infrared sauna.
On the hot tub front, the Mayo Clinic published an article stating that soaking in a hot tub may in fact be beneficial for some heart patients. Why? Because soaking in a hot tub simulates the same benefits of exercise while producing less stress on the heart. The hot water environment increases your heart rate—the same as it does while exercising. However, the hot tub soak will not increase blood pressure the way traditional exercising does.
In the Mayo study, heart patients using an exercise bicycle experienced an increase in blood pressure from an average of 121/73 to a rate of 170/84. On the flip side, a heart patient soaking in the hot tub dropped from a 117/77 average to a rate of 106/61. A hot tub soak also increases heart rate an additional 26 beats per minute, the same way exercise can—but without stress to the heart.
The use of infrared saunas has been shown to produce positive results for the heart as well. Since infrared sauna use dilates blood vessels during a session, it improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Again, this type of activity increases positive heart function without the stress traditional exercise may cause. A study conducted in 2005 by the University of Missouri found that heart patients using an infrared sauna three times a week for six weeks experienced a drop in systolic blood pressure from 130.5 to 124. The drop in systolic blood pressure in Type 2 Diabetes was even more significant, dropping from 124 to 118.
Since infrared saunas provide the positive effects from sauna use without the traditional steam, elderly patients may find infrared sessions easier to endure. A typical session can be enjoyed without difficulty in breathing, and avoid the chance of heat stroke.
Take a step towards a healthy heart this Valentine’s Day. A Hot Spring Spa or Helo Sauna can help! Visit one of our showrooms today to learn more. And—always check with your health professional to ensure hot tub soaking or saunas are right for your heart health.