Many people have benefited from using a sauna or a steam room. Many spas, hotels, and gyms offer a sauna, steam room, or both. Both saunas and steam rooms are used as a means of relaxation and are said to cure minor health ailments from colds and flu to stress and anxiety.
There certainly are some health benefits to using a sauna or a steam room, and choosing one is strictly a matter of personal preference. If you have the opportunity, try them out to see which one you prefer. But first, consider Sauna Steam room – Understand the Difference; a sauna provides dry heat with low humidity, whereas a steam room provides moist heat with a lot of moisture.
Saunas have been around for thousands of years. The origins begin in Finland, where Finns have sworn by their healing powers for more than 2000 years. They claim that using sauna heat baths is key to longevity and maintaining mental sharpness.
While there is no objective scientific evidence to suggest that regular use of a sauna will make anybody live longer, some immediate health benefits can be noticed. They are relaxing. The dry heat causes blood pressure to lower and blood vessels to dilate. This increases circulation throughout the body and extremities. It also opens pores on the skin and is attributed to clear skin and a healthy glow.
The humidity level of a sauna is typically kept below 30%. The rooms are usually made of fragrant wood, and heat comes from a plank of wood or an electric stove, which contains rocks that disperse heat throughout the room. Pouring water over the hot stones will create steam, but the sauna will remain relatively dry. A caution about using a sauna: because it is extremely low humidity, the ability to dehydrate is very high.
Drinking plenty of water before and after using a sauna is essential to prevent dehydration. The temperature of a dry sauna is usually kept between 160-200 degrees Fahrenheit, so fluid loss can happen extremely quickly due to sweating. Be careful to monitor your condition, and don’t use a sauna if you are pregnant, have heart disease, or have problems with blood pressure (either high or low), as you can experience complications with any of these conditions.
A steam room creates a highly moist heat. The room is usually between 110-114 degrees Fahrenheit but has 100% humidity. The wet, hot air is good for respiratory and sinus issues and is also said to be a reasonable means of cleansing skin. Some claim using a steam room will help with weight loss due to sweating, but there is very little scientific evidence that using a steam room will help aid in weight loss. It will undoubtedly help increase circulation, just like a sauna will, and will remove excess fluid and salts from the body, which are cleansing in nature.
One thing to consider when using a sauna or a steam room is that they can be breeding grounds for different types of bacteria, fungi, and other infectious diseases. Pathogens thrive in warm environments–exceptionally moist ones (though certainly in dry climates), and can multiply rapidly in such conditions.
If using public saunas or steam rooms, it is probably a good idea to wear protective footwear and a towel into the room as a barrier between your skin and surfaces in the steam room or sauna. Be sure to shower immediately upon leaving them to remove any remaining pathogens from your body.
Steam rooms and saunas can provide users with numerous health benefits. Relaxation, clarity, relief from minor aches and pains and arthritis and relief from respiratory conditions can be achieved using steam rooms and saunas. Both steam rooms and saunas are considered a type of heat bath, and people have used both for thousands of years for healing and longevity.
Romans were said to use steam rooms in their bathhouses and mineral hot springs as a means of healing, and saunas originated in Finland over 2000 years ago. Both can offer users some minor health benefits and a lot of enjoyment. Part of deciding which will be best for you comes with knowing the Sauna vs. Steam room – Understanding the Difference to determine which one you will enjoy using most.