With the ever growing focus on cleanliness and disinfection, gathering places such as schools, movie theaters, and gyms and their housekeeping standards are under extreme scrutiny. Most gyms (if not all at this time) provide some method of sanitation for their members as they move about the facility to self-clean their equipment. Items such as dumbbells and barbells are least likely to be cleaned by users, and cardio equipment and resistance machines are more likely to be wiped down after use. Regardless of how you spend your session at the gym, there is one room that is far and away the most sanitary, and beneficial for your health in the battle against germs.
Dry saunas optimally range in heat from 176°F to 194°F with very low humidity (<20%). These conditions are inhospitable environments for germs, bacteria, and viruses that can make us ill. According to the USDA, most common forms of bacteria that are pathogenic to humans cannot live in temperatures over 165°F. Those would include bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections, staph infections, and pneumonia. None of which are present in a dry sauna. It is worth mentioning that infrared saunas and steam rooms do not provide enough heat to kill bacteria effectively.
The influenza virus can live up from 5 hours to 7 days on a surface, depending on the environment and humidity. Typically, respiratory viruses like coronavirus flourish under cooler temperatures. You can feel entirely safe and free of virus contact inside a dry sauna. In the sauna, your body will raise its core temperature several degrees and begin the production of new red blood cells. Those blood cells are crucial to building a stronger immunity system to fight any incoming infections. If you choose to forego using gym equipment, but still wish to have the same benefits of exercise, head to the nearest sauna. A longer, more intense sauna session (either on the higher spectrum of heat or longer duration) will mimic the benefits of low to moderate intensity exercise. Your body’s reaction to heat stress will increase your heart rate and get you sweating. Additionally, those endorphins will kick in and leave you smiling as you walk out healthy and happy from your sauna session.