Steam rooms: How are they different from saunas and the benefits they bring?
Heat can be wonderfully beneficial for the body, from improving skin aesthetics to helping to soothe aches and pains. Both saunas and steam rooms can provide a great heated environment but what’s the difference between the two and what kind of benefits can you expect from a steam room?
What is a steam room?
It’s very similar to a sauna except that the heat is not dry. Saunas are hot and dry while steam rooms tend to be hot and wet. Steam rooms normally maintain a temperature of around 110°F and, as the name suggests, are filled with steam as the temperature rises and the air is heavy with moisture produced by a generator filled with boiling water. While in a sauna you might be sitting on wooden benches in a clear room, with a steam room the surface is normally tiled or stone and the air is cloudy with mist.
What are the benefits of a steam room?
Lowering blood pressure
One of the benefits of spending time in a steam room is the release of a hormone called aldosterone, which is responsible for regulating blood pressure. The aldosterone release can help to bring blood pressure down and make the occupant of a steam room feel more relaxed.
Heat and steam have been shown in various studies to help improve circulation, which leads to better overall cardiovascular health. Moist heat is particularly helpful when it comes to boosting circulation to extremities such as hands and feet, especially in older people.
Improving immune response
When our bodies are exposed to water this stimulates the leukocytes cells, which contribute to fighting infection. Although a steam room may not provide a cure, regular use can help to boost the immune system so that you get sick less often.
Reducing painful congestion
Whether you suffer from sinus issues or you just have winter colds, steam rooms are ideal for helping to shift congestion without the scalding dangers of steam inhalation or steam therapy.
Helping to relieve stress
Spending time in a steam room regularly can help to bring down the levels of cortisol in the body, resulting in calmer feelings and better-managed stress levels.
Nurturing beautiful skin
Steam is well known for the positive cleansing and plumping impact that it can have on skin. In particular, the steam will open the pores, helping to detoxify and remove impurities that can cause issues such as blackheads and acne.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or starting a new exercise regime, you’ll need to find a way to recover from sore muscles after exercise or training. Many studies have shown that heat is a very effective way to do this and that moist heat is more effective than dry heat.
Potential for weight loss
You can actually burn calories in a steam room thanks to the increase in heart rate from the heat. That’s especially so if you enter a steam room with your heart rate already raised from an aerobic workout.
Combating joint pain and stiffness
Applying heat to joints not only helps to reduce pain but also increases flexibility and can even help to reduce injury before a workout.
These are just some of the reasons why a steam room is a fantastic investment – contact our team to find out more on 0208 309 0600.