The thought of older, near-naked sweaty men might be putting you off the sauna, but new research suggests there’s a very good reason as to why it’s such a popular trend.
According to findings published in the journal of Neurology, regular sauna sessions has been linked to a significant decline in the risk of suffering a stroke.
“The findings are very strong, says study co-author Setor Kunutsor, speaking to Time.
“Those who took a sauna four to seven times a week were about 60 per cent less likely to have a stroke than people who took only one sauna per week,” continues Kunutsor a researcher at the University of Bristol in the UK.
The study took place in Finland, a country where are saunas are extremely popular. Tracking 1628 adults over a time period of 15 years, they monitored their lifestyle habits and how often they used saunas.
At the end of the research, 155 people had suffered strokes. By analysing sauna usage, scientists could determine how likely people were to suffer a stroke. In the group who used a sauna four to seven times a week, there were 2.8 strokes per 1000 people while those who managed just one visit a week had their chances increase to .81 per cent.
The findings also suggest that even with poor lifestyle habits that could increase stroke risk, heavy sauna use significantly lowered the chance of stroke.
Researchers note that more investigation is needed to compare with non-sauna users given the popularity in Finland.