10 Health Benefits of Saunas


Besides deluxe chambers with vitamin infused rain showers and a restaurant serving nutritional cuisine, The Chilworth Hotel London Paddington also has the luxurious added perk of having a wellness centre here on-site for guests to enjoy.

Whether you fancy winding down with a rejuvenating treatment between sightseeing, or you are planning a full-blown day of pampering in a spa near Paddington, the star of our wellness centre must be the humble sauna. It warms you up after a day exploring, soothes the body after exercise and is the perfect accompaniment to a spa treatment.

But exactly what can sauna bathing do for you? We have compiled a list of the top 10 health benefits of saunas to enlighten you!

1) Relaxation of the muscles and joints

Perhaps the main reason many of us hop into a sauna is to get that instant relief from aching muscles and joints. Athletes and those who take part in regular exercise reap many benefits from regular sauna use, as the heat can prevent post-work out pains. The sauna permits the release of endorphins and causes blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood circulation and speeds up the healing process. Heat from the sauna reduces muscle tension and eliminates lactic acid accrued from sport, whilst growth hormones increase during sauna use which help with reducing muscle waste. To summarise, if you use the gym at The Chilworth Hotel Paddington, take a sauna afterwards!

2) Increased cardiovascular performance

As saunas help us banish stress, this essentially increases our cardiovascular performance. A sauna will widen the blood vessels and increase the heart rate to a similar range we experience during aerobic exercise, and double the amount of blood it pumps per minute. Essentially, the heat from a sauna is tricking your mind into thinking your body is working out. Studies have shown that regular sauna usage reduces high blood pressure and keeps it at a stable level. Your sauna will improve the function of your arteries, or vascular compliance as its known.

3) Stress relief

One of the health benefits that we can all get onboard with is stress relief. Stress can lead to problems sleeping, poor performance at work, fractured relationships and in some cases, anxiety and depression. It’s something we are consciously aware of minimising, and regular sauna use can help! Whilst you’re in the sauna your body can feel a degree of stress. Your brain releases euphoric hormones, which trains your body to do this during later periods of stress. Healthy arteries make our bodies able to handle stress better. Recover from the stress of searching for special offers on London hotels by taking a sauna bath.

4) Toxin flush

The intense sweating achieved in a sauna can reduce levels of toxins such as lead, copper, zinc, nickel and mercury which we absorb in our daily life. The average person will lose a pint of sweat during even a short sauna. So if you want to detox your body, grab your towel and wave those nasties farewell! It is the perfect prelude before you settle down to enjoy London offers on afternoon tea.

5) Clearer skin

Leading on from this, it has been suggested that the sweating from sauna bathing can help to deep cleanse your skin. The heat can draw bacteria out of the sweat ducts, cleanse the pores and improve capillary circulation which leads to clearer-looking skin that is soft to touch.

6) Deeper sleep

Having a sauna prior to going to bed can boost your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. By raising your body temperature shortly before bedtime, your heated body will automatically work to readjust its temperature afterwards. It is this cooling-down and normalising after the sauna bath that will lull you off to sleep, leaving you calm and relaxed. Hopefully, it will enough to sleep soundly through the night in your chamber at the Chilworth Hotel London.

7) Improvement of lung function

Studies have shown that having regular saunas during winter can help keep seasonal colds or pneumonia away. Those with asthma or other chronic lung problems should talk to their doctor about sauna usage and how it might be able to help them. If you’re suffering from a cold, or feel like you might be on the brink of one, hop in a sauna to help ward to away. But perhaps take a peak before you jump in and inflict your bugs on another sauna-lover.

8) Aid chronic conditions

Saunas have been thought to alleviate the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia as well as reoccurring headaches. The heat, it seems, reduces inflammation levels in the blood which contribute to these ailments.

9) Increased attention

Studies have found that sauna usage boosts the hormone norepinephrine which helps the brain with attention and maintaining focus. The stress from the heat also supports your body’s ability to store norepinephrine for release later.

10) Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Last but not least, a 20-year study from the University of Eastern Finland suggests that sauna bathing 4-7 times per week for 20 minutes lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s by 65%!

Sauna precautions

Of course, sauna bathing does come with some health precautions so before you strip to your bathers and plunge into 80°C temperatures, follow these tips!

  • Avoid consuming alcohol right before or directly after your sauna
  • Staying hydrated is essential. Drink plenty of water before and after the sauna, and drink water throughout the experience
  • Do not stay in the sauna longer than you feel comfortable with. Sauna newbies should increase their overall time in the sauna gradually. Even regular sauna bathers should cap their time at 20 minutes max per session
  • If you have a preexisting health condition, particularly relating to the heart, you must check with your doctor before using a sauna
  • Pregnant women should avoid saunas
  • If you begin to feel dizzy, leave the sauna and sit down somewhere cool