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Health Benefits of Saunas

bannerMuch has been made of the health benefits of sauna bathing. With good reason. Physically, nothing is more reinvigorating than a deep, healthy sweat every day. Tension fades. Muscles unwind. Mentally, we emerge relaxed, revived and ready for whatever the day may bring.

A few minutes a day is all it takes to look and feel better. The body’s response to gentle, persistent heat is well-documented and proven day in and out by people all over the world. Which is why more and more doctors are recommending its purifying benefits.

Ten key health & wellness benefits

1. Saunas relieve stress.
2. Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.
3. Saunas flush toxins.
4. Sauna cleanses the skin.
5. Saunas can induce a deeper sleep.
6. Saunas bring about recreational and social benefits.
7. Saunas improve cardiovascular performance.
8. Saunas burn calories.
9. Saunas can help fight illness.
10. Saunas just feel good.

1. Saunas relieve stress.
Not surprisingly, sauna bathers most frequently cite stress reduction as the number one benefit of sauna use. Medical studies often determine that stress in our daily lives can negatively affect our health. In fact, the vast majority of disease (i.e. heart disease) is at least partially stress-related. Heat bathing in a sauna provides stress relief in a number of ways. It’s a warm, quiet space without any distractions coming from the outside. As we like to say, "Step into a Finnleo sauna, and close the door on the rest of the world." The heat from the sauna relaxes the body's muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s all-natural "feel good" chemical, and their release provides a truly wonderful "after sauna glow.”.
2. Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.
Under the high heat provided by a sauna, the body releases endorphins (see health and wellness benefit #1). Endorphins can have a mild, enjoyable "tranquilizing effect" and the ability to minimize the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness other from, say, an intense physical workout. Body temperature also rises from the heat of the sauna.. This causes blood vessels to dilate, therefore increasing blood circulation. This increased blood flow in turn speeds up the body’s natural healing process via soothing aches and pains and/or speeding up of the healing of minor bruises or cuts. After participating in physical sports, use the heat and/or steam of a sauna to promote muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid and/or other toxins that may be present.
3. Saunas flush toxins.
Many - if not most - of us do not actively sweat on a daily basis. Deep sweating, however, has multiple proven health benefits. Benefits derived from a deep sweat can be achieved via regular sauna bathing.Due to the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise. The blood vessels then dilate, causing increased blood flow (see above). As heat from the blood begins to move toward the skin's surface, the body’s nervous system then sends signals to the millions of sweat glands that cover the human body. As the sweat glands become stimulated, they produce sweat. Sweat production is primarily designed to cool the body, and is composed of 99% water. However, deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemical - which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.There is no shortage of books from Doctors and practitioners, who describe the benefits of detoxifying our bodies regularly. As many doctors will agree, a big reason for the popularity of saunas is that they are one of the best ways to detoxify our bodies.
4. Sauna cleanses the skin.
Heat bathing is one of the oldest beauty and/or health strategies in terms of cleansing one's skin. When the body begins to produce sweat via deep sweating, the skin is then cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced - keeping your skin in good working condition.Sweating rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores has been shown to improve the capillary circulation, while giving the skin a softer-looking quality. Dr. Ben H Douglas, a professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and author of "Ageless: Living Younger Longer,” attests that "Sweating is a way of energizing the skin almost the way exercising a muscle energizes it.” He goes on to explain that, when you sweat, the rush of fluid to the skin "bathes skin cells with a liquid rich in nutrients,” which "fills in the spaces around the cells” and even "plumps up" tiny wrinkles. He also mentions that the nutrients and minerals in sweat "are essential to maintaining the collagen structure of the skin.” Bathing skin in sweat on a fairly regular basis, therefore deters collagen breakdown that can ultimately result in wrinkles and sags. By continually flushing body waste through individual cells, one eventually brings back vitality, tone and a healthy glow to the skin. Sauna usage is certainly not a cure for acne, but it can very often help - due to the deep cleansing it provides from a deep sweat (that is, cleaning the pores from the very inside out - instead of just cleaning the top of the skin).
5. Saunas can induce a deeper sleep.
Research has shown that a deeper, more relaxed sleep can result from sauna use. In addition to the release of endorphins (see above), body temperatures, which become elevated in the late evening,fall at bedtime. This slow, relaxing decline in endorphins is key in facilitating sleep. Numerous sauna bathers worldwide recall the deep sleep experiences that they feel after bathing the the calming heat of a sauna.
6. Saunas bring about recreational and social benefits.
While the social benefit is rarely talked about, it's really actually quite important. The sauna can be a private, personal area of relaxation and solitude. However, it can just as easily be a relaxing environment for socializing with family, friends and soon-to-be friends. The sauna room environment is conducive to open, intimate and quiet conversation.
7. Saunas improve cardiovascular performance.
In the high temperatures of a traditional or infrared sauna, skin heats up and core body temperature rises.In response to these increase heat levels, the blood vessels near the skin dilate and "cardiac output" increases. Medical research has told us that the heart rate can rise from 60-70 bpm (beats per minute) to 110-120 bpm in the sauna (140-150 with more intensive bathing), and can often sink to below normal after the cooling off stage. With regular sauna useage, we not only train our heart muscles and improve the heart rate/cardiac output, but we also help the body's regulatory system.Even more cardiovascular conditioning takes place when the sauna bathing is taken in multiple "innings”, with sessions in the sauna separated by a cool shower or a quick dip into a cool pool or lake. Each time you rapidly change temperature (from hot to cool or vice-versa), your heart rate increases by as much as 60%, which is very comparable to the increase experienced during moderate exercise..

8. Saunas burn calories.
Outlandish claims are often made by some sauna sellers (primarily those who sell infrared saunas) to promote saunas as an end-all weight loss tool. While some individuals may experience high amounts of calorie burn at first - particularly those individuals in poor shape to begin with - over the long term, saunas are simply treated as one of many tools in our arsenal when it comes to burn additional calories.The sweating process itself requires a notable amount of energy. That energy is derived from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a bodily process that burns up calories. According to U.S. Army medical research (Ward Dean, M.D.), "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process.”The body consumes said calories due to the acceleration of heart activity (the cardiovascular section). As heart activity increases and as these processes demand more oxygen, the body begins to convert more calories into usable energy.

9. Saunas can help fight illness.
German sauna medical research shows that saunas were able to significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza amongst participants. As the body is exposed to the heat of a sauna and steam (in the case of traditional saunas), it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn helps to fight illnesses and helps to kill viruses.In addition, saunas can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion from from colds or allergies - especially when used with steam (tip: add eucalyptus to the water for added benefit and overall enjoyment). The steam vapor action helps to clear up unwanted congestion and is a wonderful aspect of the Finnish sauna experience.

10. Saunas just feel good.
A sauna not only feels good, it’s good for your body. Whether it’s the physiological changes that occur during the warmth of a sauna, or if it’s simply the time spent in the calming and still retreat of the sauna, every seasoned sauna bather agrees - it feels wonderful! As we progress through our stressful everyday lives, the sauna provides a pampering retreat - where we can relax and restore body and soul. Sauna bathing truly makes you "Feel Better”, "Look Better” and "Sleep Better”!

Hot Tub Covers: Put a Lid on Your Investment

The backyard of your dreams is nearly complete. You have decided on your perfect spa and have it customized to your liking. Don’t forget to put a lid on it! It is crucial a hot tub cover accompanies your dream spa on its first day home.

A hot tub cover is one of the single most important necessities of a hot tub.

1. As heat from spa water rises, the spa cover insulates against heat loss, which, without a cover would incur additional electrical costs for the homeowner.

2. Leaves, dirt and other debris are captured by the cover and prevent them from falling into the water.

3. The top of the spa is protected from damage resulting from extreme weather conditions. The cover ensures that hot tub cover skirt is long enough to prevent the spa’s acrylic edge from being exposed to harmful sunlight.

4. Children, pets and unwanted animals are inhibited from accessing the spa when not in use. In addition, hot tub covers meet the safety requirement of ASTM F-1346-91.

Important Facts About Jacuzzi® Hot Tub Covers

Jacuzzi® has developed strict specifications for their hot tub covers. They have specific requirements for foam density, vapor barrier bag density, vinyl weight, c-channel support, stitching, thread, skirt length, handle material, zipper material along with a variety of other requirements. Inspecting to these standards will assure you are getting one of the best spa covers in the industry built specifically for your spa.

What Consumers Should Know

Hot tub covers need to be cared for just as any outdoor product. Keeping your vinyl cleaned and conditioned will help to extend the life of your cover. As the main ingredient in the encasement is vinyl, please use a high-quality cleaner and conditioner for vinyl that is not petroleum based. Your cover is exposed to air pollutants, acid rain, bird droppings, and strong UV rays. Failure to care for your cover properly can prematurely age your cover.

How Do You Table Tennis?

Table tennis is a great way to spend time with friends and family during the holiday season. It’s normally a therapeutic game—but what happens when it starts getting competitive? This guide shows you a few styles of holding your paddle, or bat, so you can find your rhythm and improve your game.

There are three main categories of grip: shakehand, penholder and unorthodox. Most people use a variation of shakehand, while many eastern players use the penholder variation, and even fewer yet use a series of unorthodox paddle grips. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. So, much like learning to snowboard, write, kick or throw a ball, you’ll have to learn which style suits you best.

Pretend you’re shaking someone’s hand, but instead of a hand, you place the handle of the paddle in your palm. Your pinky, ring and middle fingers wrap around the handle, and your thumb rests comfortably on the top of the handle. Your pointer finger points straight along the bottom part of the rubber on the opposite rubber face as your thumb.

Brunswick Shakehand Grip.JPG

- Some people wish to move the handle further up in their hand so that their fingers blog less of the rubber area.
- Some people prefer tilting their hand inward while holding their paddle, effectively moving their pointer finger more toward the middle of the rubber.

The benefits of this all-around and popular grip are spin, power and reach. Most players use a variation of this grip because it offers a lot of flexibility. Free range of motion in the wrist allows you to perform several types of spin and serves without strain. 

There is only one main caveat of this hold. It forces players to make a split second decision in the case where the ball is hit directly center of the body—do you use your forehand or backhand? Good legwork and quick decision making can often save players from having to make this decision.

Hold the handle of your paddle like you would a pen with the rubber head end below your hand. Your pointer finger should be curled around the handle and almost touching your thumb. Your other three fingers should be curled on the other side of the paddle like they support a pen.

Brunswick Penhold Grip.JPG

- Japanese penhold grips generally have the tips of their bottom three fingers spread and touching the rubber.
- Korean penhold grips spread the three fingertips even further while touching the rubber.

The benefits of the penhold grip varieties are the natural feeling forehand and incredible topspin you can accomplish with this style. Many top eastern players use a penhold grip and stay competitive.

The penhold grip doesn’t allow for the most versatile backhand motion and generally uses one side of the paddle—the forehand side—to rally the ball. This means that you’ll have a lot more legwork if you’re going to properly cover your backhand. If you’re dead set on the penhold grip, you can also rotate your wrist 180 degrees to perform a backhand with the opposite side of the paddle. This will allow you to perform a backhand with topspin, but is more difficult to master.

There are a number of unorthodox grips that take variations of the previously mentioned grips and drastically change the holding style. For this guide, we’ll focus on the Seemiller grip, made famous by Daniel Seemiller. This grip is made by putting your thumb and pointer finger in the shape of an L and then continuing to grip like the shakehand option. You should end up with your pointer finger and thumb on opposite ends of the same rubber face. 

Brunswick Unorothodox Grip.JPG



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