You may agree with Maxim, Ranker and People magazines that James Franco, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Scarlett Johansson are the hottest celebrities around. But when it comes to being hot and steamy, nothing beats a Finnish sauna of 175 to 212 F.
In a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers tracked 2,300 middle-aged Finnish men for an average of 20 years and found that guys who used the sauna four to seven times a week had 48 percent to 63 percent less risk of heart-related death and stroke. Spending more than 19 minutes per session was associated with the most heart benefits. It's true that this study doesn't show conclusively that using a sauna was why the guys were heart-healthier (those who tolerated it might have been healthier to start out with). But if it were a randomized, controlled trial, reinforced by other findings, we could then say that using a sauna four to seven times weekly for 30 minutes makes your RealAge about six years younger! So, should you start getting baked regularly?
First, check with your doctor, particularly if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. Then, start in a cooler sauna, around 150 F and for only a few minutes. Always make sure you are well-hydrated BEFORE you go into the sauna, and drink 16 ounces of water after you get out. Don't drink alcohol and dry roast - ever! Then, enjoy the fun of the sauna and try singing your own version of Buster Poindexter's "Hot, Hot, Hot!"
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