Sauna Or Steam Room – Which Is Better
Often, when the weather turns too hot, people tend to complain. Sweating so much due to temperature can somehow cause a sudden shift of mood. Little does everybody know that heat can have a lot of health benefits. Exposure to a very hot temperature is quite uncomfortable at first. After all, who would want to stay in a very hot place?
Some salons and spas offer saunas and steam rooms in their services. Sauna and steam rooms are typically just the same. It’s just that a sauna is the one that’s more commonly known. The difference between the two is the type and level of heat that they provide.
But both offer exactly similar health benefits. So which one is good for you depends on your body’s heat tolerance. There might be some risks, too, so you have to make sure that you are well-hydrated before going to a sauna or a steam room.
What is a Sauna and its Benefits
The sauna uses a different type of heat than the steam room. The heating temperature in a sauna room ranges from 180°F to 195°F or 82.2°C to 90.6°C and with low humidity. The sauna uses different sources of heat. It includes wood heating, gas, electrically generated, or infrared technology.
Others who have experienced a sauna describe it as “being inside an oven,” which is not a surprise considering the level of heat that it provides. Sauna has many health benefits, which everyone who has already tried it knows. This might be a little bit unbelievable, but yes, a sauna can help you lose weight too.
Enhanced blood circulation
According to an internist at Mayo Clinic, a reputable health institution in The United States, “sauna increases your body temperature.” Therefore, it increases one’s heart rate, which enhances the blood flow circulation. When you are in a sauna, you sweat a lot, so it’s like exercising, thus giving you some cardio benefits.
Controlled blood pressure level
Doing a sauna once in a while can help you lower your blood pressure level. So it’s like doing exercise for a few hours, which in turn controls your blood pressure. It has been found that visiting a sauna regularly diminishes your risk of developing any heart disease.
The sauna as a stress reliever
With all the hustles and bustles you do every week, it’s not so bad to reward yourself with a sauna visit. A sauna is seen as a way of distressing and relaxing. If done as often as you can, most likely, your stress level will reduce.
Glowing and healthy skin
Everybody wants glowing and healthy skin. A sauna can be an answer to that – another benefit of the sauna which everybody would love. A regular sauna can make your skin healthier and glowing, firm and elastic.
Stiff joints and sore muscles relief
When you are doing an extensive workout, your chances of having tired muscles and stiff joints are high. So a sauna after your strenuous workout session may help you recover.
Stronger immunity level
With all the viruses and bacteria circulating around you, it is always good to boost your immune system. A stronger immune system means a lower chance of developing or acquiring diseases. A sauna can help boost your immunity, which can help your body combat infections.
Sauna as mood-enhancer
A sauna session can be beneficial to you and your mood, which is a big factor in achieving relaxation and good mental health. Sauna has also been linked to a lower risk of dementia and other serious mental disabilities like Alzheimer’s.
What is a Steam Room and its Benefits
Just like the saunas, the steam room provides heat that is controlled. However, steam rooms aren’t as hot as a sauna. The heating temperature in a steam room typically ranges from 100°F to 120°F, with a humidity level of 100. Thus, you will feel the heat more in steam rooms than in saunas.
If the sauna uses dry heat, the steam room uses moist ones hence the humidity level. Steam rooms have similar benefits to saunas despite their low heat temperature level. So you still get identical cardio benefits to the ones you receive in a sauna.
Less pain and stiffness
Just like in a sauna, a steam room can help you lessen your muscle pain and joint pain. So steam rooms can be a choice of relief, too, after a heavy workout session. It relieves your tired muscles and soothes sore joints.
Relief from respiratory problems
Although a sauna can help ease respiratory ailments, a steam room is an essential choice in this department. Steam will help moisturize your airways, giving way for the air to pass through and hydrate your respiratory tract, which is vital for breathing.
Will the benefits outweigh the risks?
There might be a few risks like dizziness or dehydration due to intensive exposure to heat. That is why it is advisable to keep yourself hydrated before going to a sauna to a steam room. If you’ve had cardiovascular issues, you might want to skip this so as not to further the disease.
Length of stay
Your length of stay in a sauna or a steam room will depend on your heat tolerance. There are others whose sessions last for only five minutes, while there are some that last up to 30 minutes. But if you are hydrated enough and still want to reap the benefits, you can choose to stay a little longer.
What to wear?
If you opt to have a public sauna or visit public steam rooms, then you can wear a loose-fitting cotton shirt or a towel if you are comfortable. If it’s a private spa or steam room, you might still want to wear a towel since you are not the only person who uses this, so this can be a breeding place of bacteria. If you are lucky enough to have a sauna or a steam room at home, you can go naked if you’d like.
Whether you choose a sauna or a steam room depends on your personal preference and needs. But if you have respiratory issues, it is recommended to choose the steam room to keep your airway hydrated. But both do offer good benefits to improve one’s well-being and boosts immunity.