After a long tiring day or a hectic week, we all deserve to relax and rejuvenate ourselves and get pampered. There is no better way to do this than by visiting a health spa/gym with a steam room and sauna? Isn’t it?
Did you know that there are health benefits to using a sauna or steam room?
But, in the Sauna vs Steam room debate—which treatment wins?
Steam bath also called as Turkish style bath provides moist heat. The temperature in a steam room may range from 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may feel warmer because of the high humidity.
The gentle warming of the muscles through steam treatment is increasingly found to improve your health and feeling of well-being. The steam room helps to open up airways which improve your breathing and alleviates congestion. The wet heat from the steam room thins and opens the mucous membranes in the body, which helps to relieve pressure. This helps in releasing congestion and sinus relief
For people with bronchitis and asthma, sitting in the steam room might not suit you. This could vary from person to person. If you are stressed and anxious about sitting in a steam room, you can opt for taking steam inhalation (using a bowl). The moist heat will loosen the sputum and clear the airways.
The steam room also increases metabolism and can help in weight loss. The steam room causes you to sweat, which means that your body is losing excess resulting in shedding some pounds. The sweat also helps to remove toxins and cleanses the body.
Being in the steam room can also decrease your body’s production of cortisol— the stress hormone. In fact, the simple act of sitting quietly for ten minutes provides that benefit. When the cortisol level drops, you can feel more in control, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
The pain you feel after working out is called delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS). Moist heat works best for muscle recovery. So it’s best to take a steam bath after a good intense workout at the gym. A steam room can also be used before a workout, as it helps to loosen up the joints and increase flexibility.
Steam bath helps to boost immune system. Exposing your body to warm water stimulates leukocytes, which are cells that fight infection. Steam bath also helps to clear out any impurities from the skin which is especially good for those who have acne.
Now let’s understand what is Sauna?
The sauna uses dry heat method. In a sauna, the temperature range is about 170° to 190°F. The dry heat from a sauna soothes your nerve endings and warms and relaxes muscles, in turn relieving the tension from your body and minimizing joint pain. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from illnesses such as arthritis, painful migraines and headaches, saunas can be used as a means of calming the body and relieving it of stress.
The heat from the sauna helps the body release endorphins, a feel-good chemical that reduces the effects of stress on the body which can relax you enough to sleep better. Sauna is better for muscle relaxation and lowering blood pressure. Sauna opens up your pores and increases blood and lymphatic circulation, which will effectively aid in softening your skin.
Sauna improves blood flow to our skin, which helps in the growth of new skin and also removes all the dead cells that were building up previously. Thus, Sauna helps you look younger. A sauna will help to eradicate blackheads to give you clearer skin.
Sauna helps in improving endurance during sports. Our body has a certain level for heat tolerance. Regular use of saunas increases the heat tolerance threshold. This leads to significant improvements in endurance, feel less fatigued and maintain energy levels during sports.
A sauna can make your hair look great. We have a special gland called the sebaceous gland on our scalp, which releases compounds that help condition and moisturize our hair. Spending some time in the sauna activates this gland, which will then release these useful compounds, thereby helping to make hair look great
So, the debate continues. Each has its own benefits.
To decide which one is better for you, you might want to ask yourself, which steam room or sauna is closest to me? Do I prefer dry heat or moist heat? Which facility am I likely to use on a regular basis?
Before you hit steam or sauna room…do consider the below precautions.
Precautions: Do make sure that you don’t stay in there too long—spending too much time in a sauna can lead to excessive thirst and too much time in a steam room can cause dizziness or even a rapid heartbeat.
It is advisable not to spend longer than 15-20 minutes inside. It is important to drink plenty of water prior, as well.
It is advisable to wear a towel and flip-flops or shower shoes when inside a steam room.
So, Get yourself relaxed, rejuvenated on this weekend in a different style.
NOTE: If you are pregnant, immune-compromised, or recovering from surgery, avoid the steam room and sauna until you get the green signal from your doctor.