Use Hot Sauna 4-7 Times Per Week for 40% Lower Risk of Death

Using a hot sauna provides lower risk of death benefits that are similar to exercise. Being in a hot sauna increases heart rate and mimicks exercise in many ways.

It is a Homeostatic stressor. It forces your body out of its normal equilibrium and your body is forced to adapt to the stress.

You also feel better after being in the sauna. It lowers depression and anxiety.

There are 20 year studies that show positive health and longevity benefits of frequent sauna usage.

It is probably better to sauna after exercise.

Dr. Patrick has since been using the saunas 3 times per week for 20-30 minute intervals at 175 to 190 degrees F (infrared saunas require more time).

Cold stress is also good for you. Cold exposure seems to improve endurance and health.

SOURCES – Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Hormetic Stressors – Health Benefits of Sauna and Cold Exposure
Written By Brian Wang,

33 thoughts on “Use Hot Sauna 4-7 Times Per Week for 40% Lower Risk of Death”

  1. Saunas add 7.5 years to average Finnish life expectancy.
    But Finnish food subtracts 7.6 years.
    The use of pure grain alcohol as the standard daily drink adds back about a month… net change = 0.

  2. If you still need beginner level coaching when you are middle aged, you have more problems than just the chance of injury.
    You should have learned all that stuff when you were a teen at the very latest.

    This is not the same as having a coach to teach you new skills. I didn't have any opportunity to learn snowboarding when I was a teen. No snow, for one thing.

  3. I would argue that deterioration of the circulatory and respiration systems between organs is quite susceptible to failure.

  4. agreed. also, stem cell therapies and most recent 'recognizable'
    pharmacology has woefully underperformed their almost religious-like expectation-fervor at providing meaningful and sustainable and repeatable results in generalized treatments such as anti-ageing and wound/organ repair.

  5. It's probably helpful to categorize 'approaches' but these are mostly misnomers since 'regenerative' implies reversing or bringing closer to 'like new', which was never an incident of time anyway since even those first few years post-puberty, an episode of maximum damage-mitigation capacity, minimum damage and immune depletion, but still a real human, not a post-embryo; was still on a slippery (but less steep) slope to dysfunction (i.e. still not functionally immortal). Also, 'gerostatic' implies pushing off (but not compressing) deterioration and its obvious dysfunction with resulting healthy (short) or unhealthy (pro-longed) death.
    The key first step is to establish some kind of 'damage gauge' which can effectively determine a remaining timeline to dysfunction and death; a very pro-active, predictability tool, very unlike current medicine (and its patients' attitudes) of reactive approaches. Quantifying cancer 'stage' and its consequences is perhaps an analogous methodology.

  6. The point you made is understandable, although the title is still misleading – clickbait.

    "Use Hot Sauna 4-7 Times Per Week for 40% Lower Risk of death ."

    Perhaps people who use sauna more often are richer and of course money plays a role in life expectancy and there are other things to consider. In the end saunas do not contribute a lot, but a combination of other factors and their correlation – general lifestyle plays a larger role.

    Finns use sauna a lot and their life expectancy is nothing out of the ordinary.
    They have +- 2 million saunas for 5.3 million population and still their life expectancy is average considering their level of development.

    There are of couse some benefits, but they are probably much smaller in broader spectrum than we would expect them to be.

  7. I'll break it down into 3 approaches: Gerostatic, Senolytic, and Regenerative.

    Gerostatic means delaying the onset of cellular damage & senescence. That means Caloric Restriction, and/or substances that mimic it like Resveratrol, Rapamycin, Metformin, etc.

    Senolytic means removing cells that are damaged or senescent. That means exercise, and/or substances like Curcumin, Fisetin, etc.

    Regenerative means using stem cells, or telomerase to lengthen replication span of existing cells. That means deep fasting and/or substances like Nicotinamide (NR, NMN, etc). Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has also been found to help significantly.

  8. 31/49 = 63%. That is, those who went 4-7 times per week had 63% of the mortality rate as those who went once per week. So the frequent sauna goers had their mortality rate reduced by 37%, relative to the infrequent sauna goers. He rounded up.

    I can see how a lot of people would see 49% -> 31% and think, "Mortality was reduced by 18%". For absolute mortality, that is indeed the correct number. But using absolute mortality is tricky, because different populations have different absolute mortality levels. I might have only a 2% risk of death this year. You cannot reduce that by an absolute percentage of 18%. What would happen, I'd be 16% of the way to immortality, or undeath?

    But you can reduce my 2% by a relative rate of 37%. My new mortality would be 1.26%. This is why he's reporting it as a 40% reduction, it will mean more to those of us who don't have a very high risk of death at the moment.

    Of course, correlation is not causation and so on. But the known physiological effects of sauna use do lend some credibility to the assertion.

  9. OK, seriously, the purported benefits of this are supposed to come from the induction of heat stress proteins, which are generated when your tissues are exposed to temperatures outside a normal physiologic range, or your body is subject to extreme heat or cold such that it's having trouble maintaining temperature control.

    A bit of quick research suggests that intense exercise at high temperatures and humidity is probably about as effective at producing heat shock proteins. But personal observations suggest that splitting cordwood at 100 degrees and 70% humidity isn't nearly as relaxing as a sauna.

    I suspect it has more cardio benefits, though.

  10. Yeah, that does sound like it could involve causation running the other way, doesn't it? How many people visit the sauna when they're dying?

  11. Dude, that runs contrary to basic biochemistry. Viruses exploit the very same internal cell mechanisms the cells need to operate.

  12. exercising at middle age is fraught with risk… failures lead to a long recovery times and permanent effects. Trust not your local gym 'coaching associate' to understand your limitations and maximize your current condition..

  13. I think Brian didn't post realistic data(perhaps made an error) and the title is wrong/ misleading. The number 40 percent is too inflated.

    "Over the course of the study, 49% of men who went to a sauna once a week died, compared with 38% of those who went two to three times a week and just 31% of those who went four to seven times a week. Frequent visits to a sauna were also associated with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke.


  14. all the more reason that an exercise mimetic is as good as useless – there is aerobic, flexibility, resistance, etc., training options — since arthritis, sarcopenia, and such are the saddest of all things…

  15. meh.
    We deserve better than the 'high end' of status quo.
    Increasing your '70% health span' (you can still drive well in all conditions, run on hard surfaces with only moderate temporary pain, can run a mile in under 12 minutes, still rate very high-end on cognitive and memory testing) a half-decade does not increase your life-span nor make your early middle-age more productive nor affect the last 5-year 'taper'.
    Supplementing current (pre-clinical) repair techniques to maximize function against typical daily damages is the only way until we start switching out/upgrading systems and otherwise upgrading our humanity.

  16. But life expectancy in Finland is nothing out of the ordinary, even if they use saunas a lot.

    I don't say there aren't health benefits, just probably they are much lesser than we would expect .

  17. Most importantly, it raises body temperature which reduces hunger. The more you eat, the faster you age. And most of the food consumed by endothermic animals is for the production of body heat.

  18. I've heard multiple times that momentary exposure to cold and them longer exposure to heat helps rid the body fo senescent cells, though I'm not sure what science there might be to that. I love hot steaming showers and just use that as a sauna.

  19. I agree, sauna is great. When I was young the sauna worked wonders for my hangovers. After the sauna and a subsequent roll in the snow you feel alive again.

  20. Yet another reason global warming is a good thing?

    Finland has a strong sauna culture, there is bound to be some study that would indicate if these claims are in the region of reality or just new age woo.

  21. I wouldn't say that using a sauna wasn't enjoying life, though. I went to college in a highly Finnish area of Michigan, and got used to routinely using the sauna, and it's very nice.

  22. Most importantly wet sauna clears toxic metals from your body that pathogenic viruses need in order to thrive in you body as well as other toxins.

  23. I say it's not the years in your life but the life in your years.

    I live my life for myself and enjoy it while it l can. Hardly matters how long I will live. I am happy right now and if it's my time it's my time.

    Be happy and the rest matters not. Cheers!

  24. So, do I get similar benefits by 45 minutes of speed walking in the South Carolina noon day sun? I assure you the humidity is comparable, and the temperatures not much short of sauna.

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