Men everywhere are sweating the little stuff away, in the hopes of improving their health. Research is siding with the dudes on this one. Sitting in a dry room heated to 176 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit interspersed with cooling periods might be just what the doctor didn’t order but should have.
What in the World Is a Schvitz?
A schvitz, which is the Yiddish word for “sweating,” has been a thing since the early 1900s. Going for a schvitz means sitting in a Russian-Turkish style bathhouse, to sweat all your troubles away. A schvitz can also include occasional breaks to “cool-down.”
However, the old version of the schvitz, which often involved heading to a bar afterward to chill with other schvitzers, is getting a healthier revamping. Now, dry saunas are popping up everywhere to help men get in their schvitz without the obligatory cold beer and cigar.
#1 – Helps with Vascular Health
According to research, sauna bathing can be linked to reduced cardiovascular mortality. Per the study, sweating in a sauna can help to lower blood pressure, minimize the risk of hypertension, and even neurological decline. Spending time in a sauna can directly affect vascular function, inflammation levels, and more. Not to mention, the effects of sauna bathing can be compared to those of doing moderate-to-high intensity exercise.
#2 – Improves Respiratory Function
For those struggling with asthma, bronchitis, or other forms of respiratory conditions, the sauna can improve symptoms. Sauna bathing can help enhance lung capacity and function, which is paramount for those with respiratory diseases. Also, people who take their occasional schvitz have a lower risk of having common colds and flu, as well as lower chances of developing pneumonia.
#3 – Promotes Pain Relief
Perhaps one of the most sought-after benefits of sauna bathing is pain relief. Research has linked the practice of dry saunas with pain relief for those with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Not to mention, it has also shown endless benefits for people suffering from chronic headaches. The heat from the sauna, paired with the cooling episodes of a traditional schvitz, triggers your body’s natural painkilling response, which is why these benefits are so noticeable.
#4 – Improves Your Mood
Although there’s little evidence to support sauna’s mood-boosting and stress-reducing benefits, we’re going to add it here anyway. Sauna bathing can also boost the production of feel-good hormones, which may lead to stress relief and improved mood. Besides, isn’t sweating in a dry sauna enough to help boost your mood?
#5 – Helps with Bonding
Traditionally, men would gather regularly in schvitz clubs to discuss business, politics, sports, or simply neighborhood gossip. It was and continues to be a unique male bonding experience, to say the least. After all, how often do you strike up a conversation with a stranger wearing nothing but a towel?
If you want to give a schvitz a try, consult with your doctor to make sure they’re the right fit for you. People with certain heart conditions are not recommended to spend time in saunas.