👉 Tip#1: Why you should use a sauna and how it helped my tennis game. Saunas have been around for hundreds of years and are thought to have healing properties in many cultures. Most of you recognize the relaxation-promoting and pore-opening effects of sauna. But, there are amazing health benefits you may not know about. Read more to find out what a sauna might do for you and more importantly, how it helped my tennis game.
A word about the types of saunas: Dry, Steam and Infrared.
Dry saunas are low humidity and high temperature. Recall those wall to wall, floor to ceiling wooden rooms with the fake rocks seen in most shows filmed in the 60s and 70’s? They are considered the “bell-bottoms” of the sauna world but you will get your sweat on and that’s half the battle.
Steam saunas are high humidity and not as high temperature as dry saunas. Breathing in the hot, moist (ew) air can feel like you are scalding the old trachea. But if that’s okay by you, steam might be the right choice for you.
Infrared saunas use infrared radiant lamps that send out visible and infrared light wavelengths. Infrared light can penetrate and heat the tissue more deeply than other saunas and at cooler external temperatures. This is more tolerable and more energy efficient. This is the kind I have at home as they take up a small footprint, don’t require construction and can be portable. There are two types of infrared sauna: far and near
Near infrared stimulates certain beneficial cell energetics and penetrates up to 9 centimeters into the body at lower ambient air temperature.
Far infrared doesn’t penetrate as deeply because a lot of these wavelengths are absorbed by the water in the body.
In either case the combination of heat AND light therapy can stimulate more detox pathways compared to heat alone saunas.
So what’s so healthy about THAT? Here’s what the research shows. Sauna…..
- Helps You Live Longer And Reduce Mortality From All Causes:
- A study looking at Finnish people who did saunas consistently showed that thiose who did sauna more than four times a week had less heart disease risk, sudden death and death from ALL CAUSES compared to those that did it three or less times a week.
- Reduces your Blood Pressure
- Improves cholesterol and lipid profile
- Reduces Oxidative Stress:
- In English, oxidative stress is internal inflammation. This can lead to heart disease, increased cancer risk and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. One study showed reduced markers of oxidative stress (which can occur with exercise) in participants who did saunas after their work-outs compared to those who didn’t.
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduces anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Reduces cognitive degeneration
- Pays your grocery bills, make your bed, walk your dog and wash the dishes.
- Just checking to see if anyone is still reading this.
- Boosts the Immune System:
- One six-month study showed fewer colds in those who did sauna regularly compared to those who didn’t.
- Improves fitness with better endurance and athletic performance, improved blood flow and cardiovascular fitness.
- FYI This is not why my tennis game improved.
- Improves detoxification as toxins are excreted in the sweat.
- 9-11 rescue workers exposed to large amounts of toxic petrol chemicals were treated with high dose niacin and sauna for months. Their toxic body burden of these chemicals was reduced by over 85% after a few months of use.
A bit more about detoxification and sauna.
As I have said before, if you eat, breathe, drink and slather anything on your body (hello soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, make-up) you are likely pretty toxic. If your body is dealing with a heavy toxic burden, your health will not be ideal. You can eat organic, farm to table food, sleep 8 hours a night, meditate, exercise a few times a week and yoga your butt off and still not feel healthy.
The point is, detoxification should be a part of your daily or weekly health regimen. Heating up the body with sauna creates a detox response at the cell level. It stimulates blood flow, tissue oxygenation, and a release of toxins into the bloodstream. The sweat serves as a way to remove the toxins from your body to the skin surface.
Why is the detox benefit with sauna sweating far superior to sweating during exercise?
Sweating passively in a non-stressed environment promotes a parasympathetic healing state in the cell. The cell can focus on detox activity under these low stress conditions.
Sympathetic or “fight or flight” stressed state sweating (as is the case with exercise, even hot yoga) requires your cellular energy focus on making your muscles move, your heart pump and your respiration increase. There is not a lot of energy left over to detox, heal and repair when you are in a sympathetic-dominant stressed state.
What’s NOT so healthy about a sauna?
- It can temporarily impact male fertility by reducing sperm count and motility so if you are having trouble conceiving, drop the sauna habit, yo.
- It theoretically, could be problematic during pregnancy. This is based on information we have regarding the effect of fever on the developing baby. The comparison is not quite applicable because fever from sickness would be longer term high temperature exposure, is in the context of having an infection and involves immune system inflammation. Nevertheless use caution in pregnancy.
- It’s not for those sensitive to heat (duh)
- It could be harmful if you get drunk and fall asleep in a sauna. Apparently this is listed as a warning on most sauna devices. Yeesh.
Final words….sometimes it’s not clear why we may not be feeling, looking or being our best. I find that adding sauna to a weekly routine is a great way to just make everything better. Now, about my tennis game.
So, I started playing tennis when I was 45. At 50 I started getting one injury after another. Left rotator cuff, right rotator cuff, left knee meniscus, right pulled calf muscle, lumbar back spasm, neck pull. It was a Lazy Susan of body parts that pulled me off the courts for weeks at a time. It was a Wheel of Fortune of “buying a body part” for my physical therapy du jour. It was the Hollywood Squares of ….. you get the point.
Anyway, last year I decided to try doing my at home sauna for half an hour before I went off to play tennis and since then I have had NO INJURIES. My tennis game IMPROVED in the sense that I was actually ON the court and not sitting on the sidelines rehabbing. That’s my whole tennis strategy. Show up.
And that brings me to my 2nd tip of the day…..
👉 Tip #2: What does being late all the time say about you?
Have you ever noticed that there are people who are ALWAYS late to events? I was one of those chronically late people who chalked it up to “I’m just SO busy” and “I can’t budget my time well.” Read on to learn about what being late REALLY means……
We’ve all been there…. flat tire, speeding ticket, train was late, shirt was on backwards, another speeding ticket, the point is, aside from judgements about my driving skills and the fact that I can no longer discern the front from the back of a shirt, things happen that can make us late. But, let’s face it…..
99% of the time being late has nothing to do with “circumstances beyond our control.”
Being late is related to how you perceive the value of time, namely other people’s time. And when you are always late you are effectively saying “my time is more important than yours.”
So that was an alarming and obnoxious revelation about myself. This is from someone who had THE best excuse for being late. “So sorry, I was just finishing up a C-section.” Boy did I get a pass for being late. But then late just became the norm. Apparently an obnoxious norm.
Now let’s look at another interesting tidbit about being late.
When you are constantly late you become “unreliable.” Who wants that? When you can’t be relied upon to show up to a lunch on time, how could you be expected to show up to something important on time? For those of you who DO show up on time you are perceived of as reliable, conscientious, competent and professional. So kudos to you guys!
What’s a chronically late girl to do?
- Set a timer for “ABSOLUTELY need to leave this minute” to be on time. And then leave.
- Don’t check emails and texts right before you need to leave. Ditto for Facebook, Insta..
- Be realistic about how long it takes to get somewhere. Use the Waze app to literally get up to the minute traffic conditions and time to arrive. Set your timer accordingly.
- Pretend you need to be at your meeting or appointment 15 minutes earlier than the actual time. Elite professionals in business show up 15 minutes early to meetings as a show of their commitment to excellence. Truth be told. This won’t work for most. We all know that we can’t trick our brains that easily. What you really need is an attitude adjustment.
- Your new mantra is “early is on time”
Arriving 10 minutes late is perfectly acceptable if you are attending a dinner party as a consideration to the host in case they need a little extra time to get ready. This isn’t your coming out party. I have totally invited chronically late guests an hour BEFORE the actual time the party started so that they would show up on time. It was a surprise party, so it kind of mattered. And guess what, they showed up right on time!! Funny but true.
- We show up late because the event we’re showing up to isn’t all that important to us. Bottom line: don’t schedule events that aren’t that important to you. Use that time for things that are important and you darn well will be on time. Do you chronic late people miss a flight to Aruba? Nope.
- Avoid over-scheduling yourself.
- If you are going to be late CALL AS SOON AS YOU KNOW you are going to be late. Not 5 minutes after you are already late. Take ownership. It is literally the least you can do.
- If you DO arrive late just remember— no one cares about the excuses. Unless you were asked to stunt double as Aquaman’s romantic lead. Or you were REALLY abducted by aliens. Not like the last time you said you were abducted but really you were binge watching the last episode of Scandal. Just apologize quickly and get on with the event.
Okay you late to the party people! Being on time shows that you respect the people you are meeting and that you are reliable and trustworthy (and not a self-involved you know what). Go forth and be EARLY or ON-TIME!!!!
Please “Share the Health” if you liked what you’ve read.!!!
For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website www.drsadaty.com. Look! You are already here.
Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendation, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!