We know that exercise is good for your heart. But a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that using a sauna after your workout might help your heart even more. Researchers in Finland divided 47 adults into three groups – exercise three times per week, exercise plus a 15-minute sauna session three times a week, and no exercise or sauna. The groups who exercised regularly showed an increase in their maximum rate of oxygen consumption – or VO₂ max – compared with people who didn’t exercise. But people who used a sauna after exercising had even greater increases in VO₂ max. They also had significantly lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels than those who only exercised. While using a sauna is generally safe for most people, people with severe or unstable cardiovascular disease or other medical problems should talk to their doctors about using a sauna.
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