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Anti-Aging Benefits of Heat Therapy

6 min read

By Chelsea Dolan

Medically Reviewed by Patty Weasler, RN

There is a ton of research about the aging process and what people can do to slow it down. While nothing is guaranteed, it can’t hurt to try out different methods and see if it helps you age gracefully inside and out. One method to consider implementing into your anti-aging routine is heat therapy.

Heat therapy is a relatively easy thing to try for yourself. It’s also something that can help you achieve other worthwhile health benefits you might not expect. Read on to learn more about heat therapy and how it may deliver some anti-aging benefits.

What Is Heat Therapy?

Heat therapy is commonly used to treat body pain for athletes and people living with chronic conditions. Medical News Today says it can relieve aches in the muscles and joints by increasing blood flow. It’s often a preferred method over cold therapy for those with arthritis.

Additionally, heat therapy relaxes muscles and help with:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Strains and sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Warming up stiff muscles or tissue before exercise
  • Relieving pain or spasms in the neck or back

Heat Therapy and Aging

While heat therapy has proven benefits for the body, how can it promote anti-aging effects? An article from Longevity talks about a biological molecular function called hormesis. This effect occurs when the body is exposed to mild physical, chemical, or biological stressors.

When your body undergoes heat stress, there’s something called heat shock proteins that protect your skin from atoms that can damage cells. These proteins support cellular antioxidant capacity and repair damaged proteins, allowing them to return to their proper structure and function.

The Benefits of Heat Therapy

As it turns out, these hormetic effects can lead to anti-aging benefits from heat therapy. An article published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine says a regimen of repeated mild heat shock for 1-hour, twice a week can result in the slow down of cellular aging and maintenance of youthful morphology.

It should be noted that healthy lifestyle choices can boost the anti-aging effects of heat therapy. So if you’re considering doing heat therapy, implement daily movement into your routine to maximize the potential anti-aging benefits.

Different Types of Heat Therapy

If you’re looking to try out heat therapy, there are some easy ways to do it. One idea is to sit in a sauna a few times per week. You’ll quickly find that saunas can do plenty of good for your body in other ways too.

Saunas help the body release endorphins for hours after a session. Longevity says this helps promote better sleep, treats body pain, and helps you relax. Some additional health benefits from saunas include:

  • Flush toxins from the body.
  • Manage depression symptoms.
  • Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or forms of dementia.

Infrared Yoga

Another way to participate in heat therapy is through infrared heat yoga. This is a bit different from hot yoga. Rather than filling the entire room with heat, the room is kept cool by circulating air with humidifiers. The infrared heat targets the participants’ bodies and helps prevent you from experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Not only will you be experiencing heat therapy, but the actual physical activity you’re doing in a yoga class can help boost the anti-aging effects. Plus, the infrared heat boasts similar benefits to sunlight without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.

Other Benefits From Yoga

You can experience other benefits from doing infrared yoga. Physical activity on a regular basis can promote weight loss or help you maintain a healthy weight. It can also help your body become more flexible, loosen muscles and even detoxify the body.

Consider adding yoga into your gym routine. You can join a yoga studio in your area and start visiting the studio two to three times per week to start reaping these benefits.

Mineral Baths

If you’re looking for an excuse to go on vacation, heat therapy is a good one to consider. Mineral baths, also known as hot springs, are a natural way to revitalize your skin and improve its appearance. HowStuffWorks explains how these baths contain magnesium salts. This can improve cellular metabolism, reduce roughness, moisturize the skin, and more.

The temperature of the water is usually over 100-degrees Fahrenheit and can develop when fault lines in the earth appear. You can visit hot springs around the world for some natural skin treatment. Alternatively, find a spa that specializes in mineral baths and enjoy a zen getaway.

How to Make Your Own Mineral Bath

Not everyone can go on vacation simply to enjoy a mineral bath, which is why you could make one yourself at home instead. There are plenty of “recipes” that can simply be combined and poured into your warm bathtub at home.

For example, Erin Holt Health shares an easy way to make a detox mineral bath. It includes ingredients such as Celtic sea salt, Epsom salts, magnesium bath crystals, and other items that can be bought in stores or online.

Heat Therapy Benefits Are Not Guaranteed

It’s important to remember that aging is inevitable. While heat therapy may give you positive results, it’s not a guaranteed way to achieve anti-aging benefits. Many different factors can have an impact on aging such as lifestyle, nutritional habits, and individual health history,

Overall, more research still needs to be done with a variety of human cell types and stressors. It will help experts better understand how this therapy impacts people of different health types and to know exactly how this therapy can be helpful for everyone.

Learn More About Heat Therapy Online

Heat therapy can be a potential game-changer when it comes to anti-aging. While more research is needed to better understand how it relates to the aging process, some promising results make it worth trying.

Try out different heat therapy methods to find out which ones you prefer most. Whether it be sitting in the sauna a couple of times a week or getting active with infrared heat yoga, heat therapy can become an enjoyable part of your routine.

Lifestyle Tips for Healthy, Happy Aging

There are plenty of other things you can be doing to help promote healthy, happy aging. For starters, getting adequate sleep every night is more important than you may think. Chronic sleeplessness may lead to mental health issues like depression and it can even lead to chronic diseases.

Your diet plays a big role in how you age too. Fueling your body with processed foods and sugar will only wreak havoc on your body. Instead, opt for lean sources of protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to drink more water to stay hydrated — your skin will thank you!

Exercise and Aging

Unfortunately, many Americans lead sedentary lifestyles. Not changing your habits can increase your risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and more. All of which can have life-threatening complications.

To help slow the effects of aging, make exercise a part of your daily routine. Even if you just start with a daily walk, getting up off the couch for 30-minutes to an hour each day can do your body a whole lot of good.


Patty is a freelance health writer and nurse (BSN, CCRN). She has worked as a critical care nurse for over 10 years and loves educating people about their health. When she's not working, Patty enjoys any outdoor activity that she can do with her husband and three kids.

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