Steam Room vs. Sauna: A steam room and a sauna are both types of heated rooms that are used for relaxation and therapeutic purposes, but they differ in several ways. The main difference is the type of heat used. Saunas typically use dry heat, usually generated by a wood stove, electric heater or infrared lamp, while steam rooms produce moist heat by releasing steam into the air.
Steam rooms are typically kept at a temperature of around 110-114°F (43-46°C) with a humidity level of around 100%, while saunas are generally hotter, with temperatures ranging from 158-212°F (70-100°C) and a lower humidity level, usually around 10-20%.
Health Benefits of Steam Rooms: Steam rooms have been used for centuries for their health benefits. Here are some of the benefits associated with using a steam room:
- Relieves respiratory problems: Steam rooms can help to relieve respiratory problems such as congestion, bronchitis, and asthma. The moist heat can help to open up airways and promote better breathing.
- Promotes relaxation: The warm and humid environment of a steam room can help to relax muscles and reduce stress levels, which can be beneficial for those with anxiety, depression or insomnia.
- Cleanses the skin: Steam rooms can help to cleanse the skin by opening up pores and promoting sweating, which helps to remove dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities.
- Improves circulation: The heat from a steam room can cause blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow and promoting better circulation throughout the body.
- Aids in post-workout recovery: Using a steam room after a workout can help to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, and promote faster recovery.
- Boosts immune system: Steam rooms can help to boost the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which can help to fight off infections and disease.
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Spending time in a steam room can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. The warm and humid environment can help to relax the body and mind, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
- Relieves pain: Steam rooms can help to relieve pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain. The moist heat can help to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation of the muscles.
- Improves skin health: The heat and moisture in a steam room can help to improve skin health by promoting blood flow and stimulating the production of collagen, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Detoxifies the body: Steam rooms can help to detoxify the body by promoting sweating, which can help to eliminate toxins and waste products from the body.
- Promotes weight loss: Spending time in a steam room can help to promote weight loss by increasing the heart rate and promoting sweating, which can burn calories.
- Improves respiratory health: Steam rooms can help to improve respiratory health by opening up the airways and promoting better breathing. This can be especially beneficial for people with conditions such as sinusitis, allergies, and bronchitis.
It’s important to note that using a steam room isn’t recommended for everyone. Pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or other medical conditions should consult their doctor before using a steam room. Additionally, it’s important to stay hydrated when using a steam room to avoid dehydration.