Visiting a sauna regularly can reduce the risk for stroke.

According to a 2018 study, taking a sauna bath for 30 minutes can reduce blood pressure and it is similar to a medium-intensity exercise.

The findings of the study, published in the journal Neurology, maybe the first of its kind to find a relationship between saunas and strokes.

According to the study, those who spent four to seven days a week in the sauna had a 61 per cent lower chance of having a stroke than those who went just once a week.

A benefit was noticed even in those who took saunas two or three times a week. Researchers came to this conclusion after analysing the lives of more than 1,600 Finnish people for an average of 15 years.

“These results are exciting because they suggest that this activity that people use for relaxation and pleasure may also have beneficial effects on your vascular health,” said study author Setor Kunutsor of the University of Bristol. “Saunas appear to have a blood pressure lowering effect, which may underlie the beneficial effect on stroke risk.”

However, researchers have cautioned that the study was observational in nature.

Here are a few other health benefits of visiting a sauna.

Flushes out toxins: The intense heat in a sauna helps the body to sweat and this helps flush out toxins from the body.

Increases blood flow: A lot of gyms have saunas attached to them as relaxing in a sauna is an effective way to recover from a workout. The high temperature in a sauna helps to expand blood vessels, which in turn helps in blood circulation.

“There are people who have chronic muscle and joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, etc. [Studies have] shown that saunas can help with pain and fatigue associated with those conditions,” Dr A Mukai, physical medicine and rehab specialist at Texas Orthopedics, was quoted as saying by Healthline.com.

Increase muscle strength: According to Dr Mukai, athletes use saunas to help with performance and endurance. “Muscle strength and power seem to increase after sauna use. If you’re looking to build strength and power, saunas can help with that.”

Weight loss: Using a sauna alone won’t help you shed weight. But combine this with a good weight loss plan and you might soon notice a change in your weight. “Overall, if you’re on a program where you’re working on both diet and exercise, the sauna can be a beneficial component to a holistic plan,” said Dr Mukai.