Saunas help you live longer, study finds | Life and style

Finns in a public sauna in Helsinki. The study found several saunas a week gave the most benefits. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty

A study of Finnish men suggests frequent sauna baths may help you live longer.

That is welcome news if it proves to be true - not just in Finland where saunas are commonplace, but for Americans shivering in a snowy Nordic-like winter.

Previous research has suggested that saunas might improve blood vessel function and exercise capacity, or even lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

The new study links long, hot sauna baths with more benefits, including fewer deaths from heart attacks, strokes, various heart-related conditions and other causes.

The study tracked more than 2,000 Finnish men for nearly 20 years on average. Most used saunas at least once weekly. Those who used them four to seven times weekly received the greatest survival benefits.

The study was published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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