A1 Journal article (refereed)
The effects of regular sauna bathing in conjunction with exercise on cardiovascular function : A multi-arm randomized controlled trial (2022)


Lee, E., Kolunsarka, I. A., Kostensalo, J., Ahtiainen, J. P., Haapala, E. A., Willeit, P., Kunutsor, S. K., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2022). The effects of regular sauna bathing in conjunction with exercise on cardiovascular function : A multi-arm randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology : Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 323(3), R289-R299. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00076.2022


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editorsLee, Earric; Kolunsarka, Iiris A; Kostensalo, Joel; Ahtiainen, Juha P.; Haapala, Eero A; Willeit, Peter; Kunutsor, Setor K.; Laukkanen, Jari A

Journal or seriesAmerican Journal of Physiology : Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

ISSN0363-6119

eISSN1522-1490

Publication year2022

Publication date04/07/2022

Volume323

Issue number3

Pages rangeR289-R299

PublisherAmerican Physiological Society

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00076.2022

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82698


Abstract

Regular exercise and sauna bathing have each been shown to improve cardiovascular function in clinical populations. However, experimental data on the cardiovascular adaptations to regular exercise in conjunction with sauna bathing in the general population is lacking. Therefore, we compared the effects of exercise and sauna bathing, to regular exercise using a multi-arm randomized controlled trial. Participants (n = 47) aged 49 ± 9 years with low physical activity levels, and at least one traditional CVD risk factor were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to guideline-based regular exercise and 15-minute post-exercise sauna (EXS), guideline-based regular exercise (EXE), or control (CON), for eight weeks. The primary outcomes were blood pressure (BP) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Secondary outcomes included fat mass, total cholesterol levels, and arterial stiffness. EXE had a greater change in CRF (+6.2 ml/kg/min; 95% CI, +4.2. to +8.3 ml/kg/min) and fat mass, but no differences in BP when compared to CON. EXS displayed greater change in CRF (+2.7 ml/kg/min; 95% CI, +0.2. to +5.3 ml/kg/min), lower systolic BP (-8.0 mmHg; 95% CI, -14.6 to -1.4 mmHg) and lower total cholesterol levels compared to EXE. Regular exercise improved CRF and body composition in sedentary adults with CVD risk factors. However, when combined with exercise, sauna bathing demonstrated a substantially supplementary effect on CRF, systolic BP, and total cholesterol levels. Sauna bathing is a valuable lifestyle tool that complements exercise for improving CRF, and decreasing systolic BP. Future research should focus on the duration, and frequency of exposure to ascertain the dose-response relationship.


Keywordssauna bathingphysical traininghealth effectscardiovascular diseasesblood pressure

Free keywordssauna bathing; heat therapy; exercise; blood pressure; cardiorespiratory fitness


Contributing organizations


Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1


Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:16