Recent news stories say nearly 50 million Americans may be in the early stages leading to Alzheimer’s disease right now. Those are pretty scary numbers. But there may be some things you can do to mitigate your risk. In fact, studies out of Finland, where sauna use is common, have shown a 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease and a 66% reduction in dementia in men who used sauna 4-7 times a week.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers several suggestions for how you can “love your brain.” Many of those tips apply to sauna use:
- Break a Sweat – The Association recommends engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise to elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow to the brain. You might be surprised to learn that sauna bathing has similar benefits, having been shown to elevate heart rate and increase blood flow.
- Butt out – Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. While a sauna can’t help you stop smoking, it can help you detoxify, and it can help you relax – which can be incredibly helpful as you try to stop an addiction.
- Fuel up Right – Eating a healthy diet that’s low in fat and includes lots of fruits and vegetables can slow cognitive decline. Many sauna owners adopt the habit of enjoying fresh, cool water and fruit following a sauna session.
- Catch some Zzzz’s – Not getting enough sleep can result in problems with thinking and memory. Regular sauna use has been shown to help people sleep better when taken in the evening.
- Take care of your Mental Health – Studies have linked depression with cognitive decline. Seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, and associated conditions is important, as is reducing stress. Saunas are a great place to reflect, meditate, relax and de-stress. If you have depression, seek medical help, but your sauna can be a helpful tool.
If you’d like to read the Alzheimer’s Association’s full list, click here. If you’d like to learn how a traditional or infrared sauna can fit into your home, your lifestyle, and your budget, stop by a showroom today.