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Are Steam Rooms and Saunas Actually Beneficial?

Saunas and steam rooms have been a fixture in luxury spas for years, included for their health benefits and their ability to relax. Today, they are more popular than ever. Gym chains such as In-Shape Health Clubs and Total Woman Gyms even include saunas and steam rooms for members at certain locations. While saunas and steam rooms can be therapeutic and relaxing, research shows that they offer many other health benefits.


Cumulative Benefits


Although similar, sauna and steam rooms offer a different experience for your body. Although both saunas and steam rooms draw moisture from the body, traditional steam rooms use wet heat, whereas a sauna uses dry heat. Steam rooms are usually set to 110 degrees and have 100 percent humidity. Saunas have a much higher temperature, usually set between 160 to 200 degrees.


Both saunas and steam rooms provide the following benefits:


  • Improves blood and lymphatic circulation
  • Alleviates stress
  • Pain management
  • Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
  • Reduces water weight
  • Unclogs pores


Both rooms make it easier for you to relax and are thought to improve your body’s ability to fight germs and illnesses. As relaxing as these rooms are, try not to spend too much time in one. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause dehydration, excessive thirst, and heart palpitations.


Sauna Benefits


Both saunas and steam rooms have their own benefits. Dry steam rooms make you sweat more and remove more moisture directly from the skin.


Benefits of using a sauna include:


  • Calms nerve endings
  • Fights insomnia
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Fights blackheads


Steam Room Benefits


Steam rooms help the skin to retain more moisture and may actually give you a rosier and fuller appearance.


Benefits of using steam rooms include:


  • Opens up airways
  • Alleviates congestion
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Fights acne


Drink lots of water after spending time in a steam room to rehydrate your skin and body.


Additional Considerations


Since there is a high degree of heat and humidity in both types of rooms, there is an increased risk for exposure to viruses, germs, and bacteria. Be sure to wear flip-flops, maintain a fair amount of space between you and other guests, and place towels on benches before sitting on them.


Some spas offer additional steam room treatments such as body wraps, massages, and meditation. Whether you choose to use your steam room privileges as is or to indulge in some of the additional treatments, there is no denying the rejuvenating effects that these rooms can have on your mind, body, and spirit.

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