Positive effects of heat?


The positive effects of heat exposure, particularly through practices like sauna use, are numerous and significant. discusses several benefits:

  1. Cardiovascular Health: Regular sauna use mimics the effects of cardiovascular exercise. It causes increases in heart rate and blood flow, and initiates cardiovascular-like stress on the body without the physical strain, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 1

  2. Hormonal Benefits: Exposure to heat can affect hormone levels. It has been shown to increase growth hormone, which is crucial for growth and metabolic regulation, while reducing cortisol, a stress-related hormone. 1 2

  3. Metabolic and Mental Health: Properly applied heat can activate neurochemical systems that improve brain function, potentially enhancing cognition and mental clarity. It also stimulates heat shock proteins that help repair damaged proteins and maintain cellular function. 3

    Health Benefits

    Andrew discusses the various health benefits of sauna, including reduced risk of cardiovascular event related mortality, increases in growth hormone, and reductions in cortisol. He explains how the body reacts to deliberate heating, which includes cardiovascular exercise-like effects such as increased heart rate and blood flow.

    Huberman Lab

    The Science & Health Benefits of Deliberate Heat Exposure | Huberman Lab Podcast #69
  4. Local Fat Conversion: New research indicates that localized heat application can convert white fat to beige fat, which is more metabolically active. This conversion could be beneficial for weight management and metabolic health. 3

  5. Stress and Recovery: Alternating between hot and cool environments in sauna sessions can significantly enhance the secretion of growth hormones. This process can also support muscular recovery and stress reduction. 4

Thus, deliberate heat exposure such as sauna use, when properly applied, offers substantial health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, hormonal balance, metabolic rate, and enhanced brain function.