KLAFS ABC of well-being

What are arterioles?

Arterioles are small blood vessels that are smaller than arteries, but larger than capillaries. They can be found all over the body. Since they connect arteries with capillaries, they have an influence on blood pressure and the speed at which blood flows through the vessels. Analogous to this, the venous blood vessels of the same size are called venules. The finest arteries of the human vascular system are barely visible to the naked eye and have a diameter of approx. 40-100 µm. It is exactly this width that is decisive for the flow speed of the blood. Their structure is similar to that of arteries, but they have less sturdy vascular walls than arteries.

Function of the arterioles

The blood vessels regulate the circulation in the down-stream capillaries. To ensure the flawless functioning of the blood circulation, the width of the vessels changes depending on demand. It is controlled by hormones on the one hand and the sympathetic nerve on the other hand. The more the vessels branch out, the better the flow speed and blood flow will be overall. A strong branching of the arterioles reduces blood pressure because the frictional resistance and flow speed of the blood are increased. In case of a larger case of blood loss, they can work intelligently and automatically reduce the flow. Because this centers the blood volume, the vital organs are better supplied with blood.

What effect do sauna sessions have on arterioles?

Regular sauna sessions are extremely healthy. They promote effective vascular training, which can be seen in better circulation and a reduction in blood pressure. The interaction between cold and heat that is typical in a sauna stabilises blood circulation and promotes a strong immune system. Similar to hot/cold sequence showers, sauna sessions have a direct influence on blood circulation. While blood vessels expand through heat, they are constricted again in the subsequent cooling through a cold shower or immersion in a cold pool. Blood circulation is stimulated, the circulation system is activated and the vascular walls are stabilised. A sauna visit is a direct way to strengthen blood vessels and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Facts about arterioles at a glance

  1. Arterioles are small blood vessels
  2. Arterioles influence blood pressure and control blood circulation
  3. If the arterioles are strongly branched with each other, this reduces the blood pressure
  4. Sauna sessions have a positive effect on the functions of the arterioles


Further information

Blood vessels and sauna
Immune system and sauna