Frequent sauna use and exercise might lower the risk of psychosis 

Ask anyone about sauna experiences and they will only have good things to say about them. sauna baths improve your overall health, affecting heart function, muscles and skin. Using the sauna will also help remove toxins from the body, and going to a sauna should help you relax after long training sessions or just going about your daily life.

It turns out that saunas might have an added benefit that more people should know about. A new study shows there could be a link between frequent sauna use, high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and the risk of developing psychotic disorders.

The more you use saunas and the better your fitness level, the lower your risk of developing psychosis. Frequent sauna use alone could also significantly reduce the risk of such episodes.

Researchers from the University of Leicester published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research This shows that there could be a link between these two behaviors and psychotic disorders.

Scientists followed more than 2,600 men aged 42 to 61 in Finland and determined that using sauna bats 3 to 7 times a week combined with increased cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) reduced the risk of psychotic episodes.

Psychotic disorders are serious mental health conditions in which patients may have hallucinations or delusions. In the case of the first, people would see and hear things that do not exist. Delusions are strong beliefs that are not based in reality. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders are examples of psychotic disorders.

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Psychotic events could negatively impact daily life in the short and long term. They may need long-term specialized care. But psychotic episodes can also be prevented, and that’s what the researchers set out to study.

The beneficial effect of sauna baths is documented, although it is not objectively measured. Previous studies have shown that sauna use can reduce the risk of psychosis.

CRF measures the body’s ability to supply oxygen to the muscles during physical activity. The more you exercise, the better your CRF will be. This, in turn, will reduce the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease and psychotic disorders.

The current study aimed to determine whether these two factors can further reduce the risk of psychosis. The researchers said PsyPost They previously found that the combination of saunas and higher CRF may offer stronger protection against other adverse health effects.

The men in the study were observed for more than 25 years, with initial evaluations beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Researchers looked at sauna bathing habits and CRI, among other things.

Participants completed questionnaires about weekly sauna use and underwent testing to measure their cardiorespiratory fitness. The researchers also tracked the incidence of psychotic disorders in the cohort.

The researchers found that men who used saunas 3 to 7 times a week had a significantly lower risk of developing psychotic disorders compared to those who only used sauna baths less than twice a week. However, the lowest risk of developing psychosis was in the group of men who were exposed to frequent sauna bathing and had medium to high fitness levels.

The researchers also found that men who frequently used the sauna but had low fitness levels were also significantly less likely (74%) to develop psychosis. Frequent exposure to sauna baths may be more beneficial than a high level of fitness. However, combining the two appears to have given the men in the study the best protection.

As someone who exercises frequently but avoids saunas like the plague, I will definitely take this study into consideration. While I am aware of the benefits of sauna exposure, it is not an easy thing for me to do due to specific issues that affect my ability to breathe properly.

Besides, I am at a point in my life where I am taking better care of my overall health., and that will include the mental aspect. I will consider more frequent exposure to sauna baths in addition to maintaining my physical training.

That said, the study is not perfect. It has some obvious drawbacks that the researchers pointed out. First, this is an observational study. To determine true causality, a real randomized trial would be needed.

Furthermore, the findings of this study apply only to this particular group of people: middle-aged men. It is not clear whether women and young people would benefit similarly with regard to psychotic disorders by combining frequent physical activity with frequent sauna use.

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