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America's Sauna Craze

America's Sauna Craze
Dec 14, 2023 · 3m 2s

Saunas: How America is Embracing the Heat Step into a soothing sauna and you’ll instantly be enveloped in dry, hot air that opens your pores, relaxes your muscles, and simply...

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Saunas: How America is Embracing the Heat
Step into a soothing sauna and you’ll instantly be enveloped in dry, hot air that opens your pores, relaxes your muscles, and simply makes you feel good. While saunas have long been popular in Nordic countries like Finland, a major sauna movement is now taking off across the United States.
From gyms to spas to high-rise apartments, saunas are popping up just about everywhere you look nowadays. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the number of saunas in the U.S. has increased by over 19% in the past two years alone. Industry experts attribute this rapid growth to greater awareness of sauna benefits, more access and options, and a wellness-focused culture craving healthy ways to de-stress.
For decades, scientists have studied the many therapeutic perks related to sauna bathing. Regular sauna use has been linked to lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and chronic pain, boosting cardiovascular health, improving circulation, and even living longer. For instance, a large 2022 study published in JAMA Network Open found adults who used saunas four to seven times per week had a 47% lower risk of dementia than those who just used saunas once per week.
“Saunas provide a type of heat therapy that puts your body under stress, causing physiological reactions that can strengthen your overall health,” explains Dr. Jonathan Smith, director of the Sauna Research Institute. “Using a sauna is basically like giving yourself a fever on purpose.”
While old-fashioned wood-burning saunas with searing hot temperatures may seem intimidating to newcomers, a wider range of more accessible and modern sauna options exists today. From lower-temperature infrared saunas to social dry saunas made for relaxation, people can now customize their sauna experience to match their personal needs and comfort level.
Lauren Benson, owner of City Saunas in San Francisco, has built an entire business around the concept of social saunas focused on community. “We designed our saunas to bring people together rather than be isolating. Our custom cedar wood cabins have large glass doors, so you can sit around chatting even when you work up a good sweat!” said Benson.
Luxury apartment complexes, elite fitness centers, and trendy spas nationwide have also started integrating saunas into their amenities to satisfy demand while commanding higher rents and membership fees. Market researchers predict more than 6 million saunas will populate the American landscape by 2025.
While Nordic countries still corner the sauna scene globally, America appears primed to give them a real run for their money as the mass embrace of saunas and their multitude of benefits continues heating up in communities across the country. So whether you’re hoping to unwind after a long day or give your heart health an extra boost, hop into the nearest sauna and see firsthand why this hot trend shows no signs of cooling down anytime soon. Thanks for listening to Quiet Please. Remember to like and share wherever you get your podcasts.
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Author Quiet.Please
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