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Are a Sauna and a Steam Room the Same?

Posted In: Health & Wellness

After a grueling work out in Chamblee, GA, many people head to a sauna or steam room for rejuvenation. A plunge in a pool or a cold shower afterwards frequently follows. The combination of heat, followed quickly by a cold plunge in the pool or an exhilarating shower, can revitalize even the most exhausted body. What’s the difference between the two? Which one provides the best experience? The answer to the first question is easy. A sauna is a dry heat, while a steam room uses steam for the heat, so it is moist and humid.

There’s a difference in temperature, too.

The benefits of both come from the heat. They both are hot, but it’s like comparing an 80-degree humid day in Georgia with an 80-degree day in the desert. You feel more comfortable when the air is less humid and can handle higher temperatures. The temperature in a sauna is between 150 degrees and 195 degrees, while a steam room is between 110 degrees and 120 degrees. The body can handle more heat when there’s less humidity. The hot dry air in the sauna stimulates sweating which cools the body, The steam room may inhibit sweating, even though the condensing water on the skin may feel like you’re sweating more. Sweating does more than cool the body, it eliminates toxins, too.

The more heat, the better it is.

Many of the benefits come from the heat, which both provide. The sauna is just hotter. The heat improves cardiovascular health, boosts the immune system, and lowers the risk of stroke. Spending time in the sauna can help you relax and lower your blood pressure. You get many of the same benefits from a sauna as you would from exercise, so sitting in a sauna after working out gives a double dose of health benefits.

The heat from both can boost your metabolism and circulation.

Studies show that regular sauna baths can lower the risk of developing blood clots in the legs. It can help reduce the risk of COPD and other lung diseases. Using a sauna following a workout can aid in recovery after a hard workout. The increased circulation helps eliminate waste while boosting the muscle healing process.

  • The key difference between the two is the individual using the sauna or steam room. Some people find the high humidity and lower temperatures of the steam room better, while others prefer the dry higher heat of the sauna.
  • The hotter temperatures of the sauna help your body acclimate to high temperatures better. The Italian football team used a sauna to acclimate their bodies when preparing for the world cup held in Brazil.
  • The studies showed that the most benefits occurred in participants who took four to seven 15-minute sauna visits weekly. It was the repeated use of the sauna that made a difference.
  • If you have never used a sauna or steam room, always check with your healthcare professional first. Ease into the experience with shorter sessions that get longer as your body acclimates.

For more information, contact us today at Thrive Sauna Studio