Difference Between Sauna Bath & Steam Bath

Difference Between Sauna Bath & Steam Bath

The difference between a sauna and a steam room can be summed up simply ? dry vs. wet. Saunas provide dry heat, while steam rooms generate moist heat. Both can open up your pores, loosen up your muscles and help you relax. Which one is right for you? It?s mostly a matter of personal preference.

The ultimate effect of dry saunas and steam rooms is much the same. Both make you hot, induce sweating and increased heart rate. But there are sufficient differences to make people ask which is better in a contest of sauna vs steam room. The effect of breathing dry sauna air or wet steam is very different for the respiratory system and the moisture effects skin very differently too. This blog aims to look at the sauna v steam room.

?Some like dry saunas, some like steam, some like hot tubs, and some combine their practice with cold water immersion, If you?re healthy and you enjoy a form of heat treatment, go for it. It certainly isn?t going to hurt, and you may find it a valuable part of your exercise regimen.

Sauna Room

Image for postSauna Room

Sauna Bath ? A traditional sauna provides dry heat. Depending on the sauna you use, you might experience moisture as low as 10 percent or as high as 60 percent. The amount of moisture you experience is often dependent on the sauna style you choose. Some saunas allow you to increase the humidity by pouring water on rocks to create steam.

Saunas can be used as a means of calming the body and relieving it of stress. If you suffer from insomnia (one out three people have a mild case), it can also help induce sleep. 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. The sauna heats up your body, so when you leave and begin to cool down, your body releases increased levels of melatonin, helping you feel more relaxed and therefore allowing you to have a deeper sleep.

Steam Bath

Steam rooms create very good respiratory conditions with the humidity level at 100%. People with coughs and lung problems sometimes use a steam room to soothe their respiratory systems. Steam rooms are also more hydrating for your skin than saunas. This is great for people with dry skin, who might suffer in a dry sauna.

Some people find steam rooms stifling though and think that the humid air is difficult to breathe. Steam rooms have a mystic quality, with the air shrouded in steam, while saunas are clean and clear enough so that you could read a book if you wanted. If you have greasy skin you might find that a dry sauna is better, because your pores may get blocked by moisture if you stay in the steam room too long.

Image for postSauna Steam Cabin for Luxury Comfort

Basically, steam rooms aren?t as hot as saunas, and they?re much more humid. Typically, steam rooms are heated between 100 and 120F and have nearly 100 percent humidity, But even though they aren?t technically as hot, you?ll likely feel the heat more in steam rooms than in saunas because of the humidity.

The steam room helps to open up airways which improves 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 is highly beneficial for those that suffer from asthma and bronchitis, as it helps with sinus relief.

The steam room also increases metabolism and can aid with weight loss. The steam room causes you to sweat, which means that your body is losing water. As water makes up a large part of your body weight, the emission of the sweat will cause you to lose a few pounds. The sweat also helps to remove toxins and cleanses the body.

Benefits of Steam Room

  1. Improves circulation

Sitting in a steam room might significantly improve your cardiovascular health. A study of older individuals showed that moist heat improved circulation, especially in extremities. Improved circulation can lead to lowered blood pressure and a healthier heart. It can also promote healing of broken skin tissue.

2. Lowers blood pressureResearch shows that in a steam room, some people?s bodies release hormones that change their heart rate. One of these hormones, called aldosterone, regulates your blood pressure. When aldosterone is released from sitting in the steam room, it can help lower high blood pressure. This is part of the reason that the steam room makes you feel relaxed.

3. Reduces stressBeing in the steam room can also decrease your body?s production of cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates the level of stress that you feel. When your cortisol levels drop, you feel more in control and relaxed. Spending a few minutes in a relaxed state not only improves your health, but also helps heal your mind and improve your focus.

4. Clears congestionSteam rooms create an environment that warms the mucous membrane and encourages deep breathing. As a result, using one can help break up congestion inside your sinuses and lungs.

Steam therapy used for treating colds and sinus infections at home is controversial because of the potential to scald yourself if you do it incorrectly. But steam rooms are relatively safe in comparison, as long as you don?t stay inside too long. An older study done on a group of children found that kids with respiratory infections recovered more quickly after steam therapy than kids who did not use steam therapy.

5. Promotes skin healthThrough environmental exposure, all sorts of toxins can become trapped underneath your skin. Steam rooms help solve that problem by using heat to open up your pores. The warm condensation rinses away the dirt and dead skin that can lead to breakouts. As a result, you may have clearer and more even-toned skin.

6. Aids in workout recoveryThe pain you feel after working out is called delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS). Professional athletes have known for decades that heat therapy can help them recover from training workouts. Heat can penetrate deep into muscle tissue and help relieve DOMS. A recent study showed that moist heat works as effectively and also more quickly than dry heat in muscle recovery.

7. Loosens stiff jointsWarming up before a workout is critical in avoiding injury. Using a steam room as part of your warm-up could help you reach maximum mobility during activities such as running, Pilates, and yoga. One study investigated the effects. Heat was applied to the knee joint before activity, and as a result, the joint was far more flexible and relaxed. The results showed that heat can help reduce injury before a workout. It was also found that women especially benefitted from heat therapy on the knee joint to prevent injury.

8. Burns caloriesWhen you?re in the steam room or sauna, your heart rate increases. If you use a steam room after an aerobic workout, your heart rate is already elevated, and the steam room can prolong that elevation. When used correctly, experts note that saunas and steam rooms stimulate your body in ways that typical exercise does not.

Sweating it out in the steam room isn?t a tool to lose weight quickly. Any weight you lose in the steam room is water weight, and you?ll need to replace it by drinking water to avoid dehydration. But using steam rooms regularly as a way to burn more calories at the gym could help your diet and exercise routine be more effective.

9. Relax and DestressSteam rooms and saunas share some therapeutic benefits. Above all, they both reduce muscle tension, promoting relaxation and general well-being. The heat helps improve circulation and, of course, promotes sweating, which opens up the pores and cleanses the skin. Steam rooms may be more comfortable for people with allergies or congestion in the chest or sinuses. Saunas are the better choice for people with conditions that can be aggravated by humidity, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

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