“Sauna will always be a big part of my life.”
Today on the bench we welcome Jon Sabes to Sauna Talk. Jon is a successful entrepreneur, founding multiple companies in the health and insurance industries. Jon is a high performing athlete, completing several marathons and triathlons, events that just thinking about their rigor makes me want to hit the “no thanks” button and take the short tour to the sauna bench and cold plunge, and hear about the pain later.
During our chat, we learn more about his current company, Foxo Technologies and their work in the scientific field of epigenetics. Epigenetics is cutting edge science that studies how our genes express due to lifestyle and environmental exposures. Jon’s using molecular level analysis and technology to change an insurance industry…and improve the health of its customers for the better!
Knowing how and why genes express healthy or unhealthy outcomes is going to empower people to help make better lifestyle choices to live healthier lives.
What’s interesting, and not surprising, is that many/most of the leaders and scientists in the field of longevity are into sauna, and hot/cold therapy. Dr. David Sinclair, author of Lifespan, is one example. He digs sauna, just like Jon, you, and me.
As it turns out, Hormesis, and the body stressors from temperature extremes, thermogenesis, is one of the impactful ways we can strengthen the healthy expression of our DNA – think of it like exercising your cells at a molecular level. Trigger our cellular muscles with sauna and cold, impacts our DNA expression in very positive ways.
The Sauna Research Institute
We talk briefly about the Sauna Research Institute and the early work in which SRI is engaged. Studies are in development. And Jon, as a Sauna Research Institute founding board member, will be helping advance research that will help us better understand why siting on the bench in our kick ass saunas, then immersing ourselves in cold water, followed by cool downs in Nature, then chilling out with a smile on our faces, and feeling so fucking awesome, has such a powerful impact on our health and wellbeing.
We know why good sauna is good for us, and it is going to be very interesting to get a better understanding as to why.
The Sabes Sauna
Though he has built a very successful life for he and his family, Jon is also a deep thinker and philosopher. He keeps himself grounded, centered, and down to earth. He is deeply in tune to nature.
I am including a few photos from his Minneapolis, MN sauna. This one of several saunas in Jon’s portfolio sits along the shores of his Lake Minnetonka property. We will look to share some photos of his other saunas, down the road. For now, here’s The Sabes Sauna in action:
I hope these photos of Jon’s Minnetonka sauna help give you an idea of its high degree of uncluttered simplicity. Clean lines and open flow. I dig this style of sauna. It is contemporary, yet ageless in its function and design.
The sauna building journey
Jon shares with us more about the sauna building journey, how he and I collaborated to design what guests and sauna aficionados are calling “one of the nicest saunas in North America.” Jon smiles shyly with the compliment, yet takes more pleasure in its use, than its comparative ranking. As Mikkel Aaland is known to say: “the nicest saunas are the ones that get used,” I say that good heat is universal. It knows no difference of income or tax bracket.
To sauna with Jon, you will experience him diving off his dock, after some pull ups between rounds, then returning from his lake cold plunge in a deep, calm, meditative stage, relaxing in any one of several chill out zones either finding himself outside the hot room, on the deck or the dock, or the zen garden to the left, or common area to the right of the sauna building.
Snacks between rounds
On a side note, Jon’s sauna sessions are of duration familiar to many of us: at least a couple hours. During the times I have sauna’ed with him at his Lake Minnetonka sauna, Jon will bring down from his main house an assortment of fresh fruit, apples, grapes, and a wedge of cheese and some pretzel snacks. What’s crazy is that this is the exact combo I often engage for my sauna sessions. There’s something fitting about this combination. A few light grazing bites between rounds, as we drink our mineral water, kombucha or a cold beer is a nice sauna compliment. Highly recommended! For more sauna culinary tips, please note here.
I am especially pleased how during our Sauna Talk episode, Jon was able to outline a few guiding principles for the design of his sauna. And Finally, as you will hear, Jon boldly proclaims what sauna means to him: “sauna will always be an important part of my life.”
Can you relate?
Please welcome Jon Sabes to Sauna Talk.