Sauna vs steam room health benefits. Which one is better for you?

sauna steam room health
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Are saunas and steam rooms good for you?

 

Saunas and steam rooms. Which one is better for your health?

Let’s clear it up. Both saunas and steam rooms are amazing for you. And many of the health benefits associated with one are the same, or similar, for the other. 

But there are a few subtle difference due to the heat and humidity content of each room. Which one is better for you, will depend on what you are looking to get out of the use of the sauna or steam room.

Health Benefits Saunas Steam rooms
Improves heart health Improves blood flow.
Best for hyperthermic conditioning
Improves blood flow
Improves muscle/joint recovery Improves blood flow + speeds up muscle recovery
Best for hyperthermic conditioning
Improves blood flow + speeds up muscle recovery
Improves skin/detoxes - Clear pores
- Removes dead skin
Better for oily skin
- Clear pores
- Removes dead skin
Better for dry skin
Boosts immune system Increases white blood cell count Increases white blood cell count
Best for sufferers of asthma/sinusitis/allergies
Improves sleep Releases sleep inducing hormones Releases sleep inducing hormones

1. Saunas & steam rooms can improve heart health and speed up muscle recovery

stress and heart healthWant to improve your heart health without cardio? Of course, you do.

While we can’t guarantee that it’s going to be quite as effective as a run. There is increasing evidence to suggest that saunas and steam rooms can improve cardiovascular fitness.

How?

Saunas and steam rooms improve blood flow. They allow the heart to pump more blood around the body, without it having to work any harder.

This also helps speed up muscle and joint recovery. More blood can get to the muscles and joints, which allows more oxygen to get to the muscles and joints. This helps reduce the lactic acid build that causes pain after we exercise. And can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

These two factors are why many endurance athletes use saunas and steam rooms as part of hyperthermic conditioning. Saunas are especially good, as these benefits increase with the temperature. And the sauna is approx. 30 degrees hotter than the steam room. 

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2. Saunas and steam rooms improve your skin and detox your body

Both saunas and steam rooms are hot.

This opens up the pores, increases blood flow and makes you sweat. Which, helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the skin. And it gets rid of dead skin that can leave skin looking lifeless. 

3. Saunas and steam rooms help boost the immune system

boost immune systemA little army of white blood cells resides inside your body. This army’s job is to fight off all infections including bacteria and viruses. 

Regular use of a steam room or sauna can help to boost the white blood cell count. This will help you fight off infection and recover faster when you do get ill.

The addition of Eucalyptus in the steam essence or water in the stones can help improve breathing. 

Steam rooms encourage deep breathing and loosen mucus. So they can be particularly effective for illness’ that involve congestion. Plus, sufferers conditions such as asthma, sinisitus or allergies often prefer the moisture of the steam room as it helps to open up the airways and improve breathing. 

4. Helps improve your sleep

improve sleepWhat’s one way to improve your overall health and boost all the aforementioned health benefits?

Sleep better.

There is research as well as anecdotal evidence to suggest that saunas and steam rooms help you sleep better. The rise in body temperature, followed by the drop after you leave releases sleep inducing hormones. This results in a deeper and better sleep.

This might be one of the reasons sauna and steam rooms users report a reduction in stress and improvement in overall well being.

Health risks

Both the sauna and steam rooms make your very hot. So there is the risk of over dehydration and overheating. It is recommended that you use a sauna or steam room for no longer than 10-20 minutes. And that you ensure you are adequately hydrated.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions, as always it is recommended that you speak to your GP before using a sauna or a steam room.

In Summary

There are subtle differences in the health benefits gained from saunas and steam rooms, due to the fact that the heated environment is different. However, they both have very similar, if not the same health benefits. They range from improved heart health and increased muscle recovery. To reduced stress and an improvement in sleep. 

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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