Colds are one of the worst things to have to fight against when you get them. Not to mention they make doing everyday things so much harder.
Colds drain your energy to the point that you may even miss work or social events. We’d all like to know how to get less colds. Some have said a sauna may help.
So, is a sauna good for a cold? There has been some evidence to show that saunas can help with shortening colds and even preventing future colds. Some studies show that the higher temperature of the sauna helps with drainage to get the cold or flu virus out of your system. It also helps kill off the bacteria or virus within your body. A soak can really help you.
Let’s go into further detail of how using a sauna can be good for a cold. We will discuss how it affects your body and why it does what it does to the cold virus.
Saunas can also be good for your overall health by relieving stress and opening your airway to help you breathe easier.
Why Are Saunas So Great For Your Health?
The heat of a sauna has an effect on our bodies and minds. We often think of sitting in a sauna as a way to warm and relax muscles, while we also relax our minds.
Some people even swear by them as a way to detox and “sweat it out.” So, what do the effects of a sauna do for the common cold?
Saunas hotter temperatures help increase blood flow and boost your immune system. Increased blood circulation allows immune cells to move freely through and work efficiently.
Having a boosted immune system can help fight off future colds and other viruses that may be infecting your system.
This boost will also protect you from future infections that you might be exposed to when you’re around other sick people. It happens and you can’t always avoid it.
They can be a great way to relax and unwind. Stress can lower your immune system and increase your overall fatigue. It may not seem like much, but stress can add up if you are exposed to it on a daily basis.
Finding ways to unwind and relax can improve your overall health, which will also help you fight colds and future colds as well.
The steam can help open airways and relieve congestion symptoms. This means a lot to those allergy sufferers out there.
Trouble breathing and stuffy noses can make you feel miserable and more susceptible to getting colds and having a cold for longer spans of time. Saunas can relieve those symptoms to make you feel better and breathe easier.
The hot temperature makes you sweat out the bad stuff. Sweating is the body’s natural way of getting toxins out of the body.
That’s why working out and being active have such positive effects on the body. A sauna can do a similar thing to your body while also helping you relax. Just be sure to use it in 10-15 minute increments so you don’t get dehydrated.
Where’s The Proof?
- A study done in Austria tested the health benefits of using a sauna when you have a cold. They took 50 test subjects and half used the sauna regularly while the others did not.
Over a six month period, the testers took the data on the health of their subjects related to colds. They found that the sauna group had half the amount of colds than the control group.
- A fever heats up the body during the natural healing process, so a sauna recreates the same thing.
Our bodies naturally heat up when it is fighting a virus or infection. While a fever for an extended period of time can be dangerous, it can be helpful in spurts. Saunas work the same way. You don’t stay in a sauna for a long time but go frequently for best effects.
- Using heat to fight colds has been done in the past. Tribes in Africa use steam from boiling water to help fight colds by having the sick individual breathe in the steam to open airways and heat up the body.
Nomads in Finland also used saunas for the same reason, to fight off colds and the flu. Given that it’s worked over centuries can be proof enough that it works.
- CD8 cytotoxic T-cells are produced when the body is heated, which is used to fight off viruses. These T-cells are proven to be the body’s natural immune system cells designated to produce when exposed to heat.
This is why we get fevers when we are sick so that our body can make these cells. A sauna can also make these cells without having a fever.
Which Sauna Should You Use For A Cold?
We have discussed how saunas can help you with a cold, but which sauna do you use? There are so many to choose from, such as:
- Spa saunas
- Home saunas
- Infrared saunas
- Steam saunas
- Wood-fire saunas
- Electrically heated saunas
- Smoke saunas
With all these options, it can be a bit overwhelming to know what kind will actually help you fight your cold and keep you healthy afterward. Most of their differences are time-based since the wood-fire, spa and smoke saunas take longer to heat up and be ready to use. More updated saunas like infrared saunas can heat up faster and be easy to use.
The size of the sauna can impact your decision on which you can use for a cold. Infrared, home and electric saunas are generally smaller and quicker to heat up.
These are good for those who like a more private experience and who don’t want a sauna that will take up too much space. Steam and spa saunas are the exact opposite and used more socially.
How you want to use the sauna after your cold is over can impact your choice. Infrared and spa saunas can help with muscle soreness and toning of the muscles for athletes. While steam, wood-fire and smoke saunas can be used to help with blood circulation. Electrical saunas are great for homes where you can control it with a remote. All help with colds.
What Other Illnesses Can Saunas Help With?
While this article mainly covered how saunas can help with colds, saunas can also help with other illnesses as well. Why stop at colds?
You can use saunas to help with:
- Sore throats
- Nasal Congestion
A benefit of using a sauna for all of these ailments is that it can be a home remedy and natural remedy in comparison to using medications that may have side effects. Of course, if your symptoms are severe, you should still go see your doctor and get medication. Saunas can help with minor symptoms and ailments, but major ones should be treated.
Trying out a sauna can be the best way to find out if it will help you. We have gone over the many illnesses that saunas can help with, but only you will be able to know if it will work for you. You should always go with a friend or someone you trust to keep tabs on you. This will make sure that you don’t spend too much time in the sauna or fall asleep.
Tip: It is recommended to keep your sauna visits to about 10 to 20 minutes at a time. The main danger of staying too long is dehydration. And if you are fighting a cold, you already need to be extra mindful of staying hydrated. Keep within the recommended time limits.
We’ve discussed how a sauna is good against colds, as well as for other illnesses like sore throats or breathing problems due to allergies.
The heat that the saunas emit help heat up your body, which is similar to how a fever heats up your body to help fight off illness. Using a sauna instead can help promote these healing benefits while shortening the cold itself.
Hopefully, this article has helped convince you that saunas are good for fighting off a cold as well as preventing future illnesses.