Increasing Popularity Of Saunas and Steam Rooms
Sauna and steam rooms are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. The truth is that they have been used for centuries, but they became more popular when doctors, physicians and experts started explaining the numerous benefits associated with them.
Types of Saunas
A sauna is typically a closed room heated to between 150 to 195 Fahrenheit or 65 to 90 Celsius that uses dry heat.
Saunas and steam rooms come in several sizes and shapes. There are the portable ones which can be used at any time at home or elsewhere, and there are the typical ones that can be installed in your home.
Saunas and steam rooms can be made based on the personal preferences and needs of their owners. This means that some of them might be large and accommodate many people, while some others might be smaller with limited space so as to fit anywhere.
Today we do not have to visit expensive or fancy spa centers in order to enjoy a sauna or steam room treatment and avail its benefits. People now can build a sauna or steam room in their houses or even use the small portable ones.
There are several types of saunas based on the heating system which include the following:
Wood burning saunas
They are heated by burning wood which are usually low in humidity and high in temperature.
Electrically heated saunas
They are heated by electricity using an electrical heater and have high temperatures and low humidity.
Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas warm the person’s body directly using infrared panels as opposed to heating the sauna room. They operate at lower temperatures (usually between 120 F and 140 F) than a traditional sauna, which is typically between 150 F and 180 F.
A steam room, on the other hand, is somewhat different from a sauna. Instead of dry heat, a steam room involves high humidity and moist heat.
Health Benefits Of Saunas and Steam Rooms
Sauna and steam room lovers report numerous health benefits. According to them, benefits of saunas and steam rooms vary, ranging from clear skin to weight loss, or even improved moods. In order to get the most benefit out of using them, users must have sessions of twenty to forty minutes.
Now let’s see have a look at the most important benefits of saunas and steam rooms.
Saunas and steam rooms help the pores of the body open and release toxic substances that are associated with several skin diseases. Women and men often visit spas and beauty salons so as to have a facial or body treatment that can clean the pores. Dirt, pollution and make up tend to create small masses under the skin surface. All these can cause acne or other skin problems and make people’s faces look dirty and tired. The heat of the sauna and steam rooms helps the pores unclog, releasing the grime. Skin is visibly clearer once all these substances are removed.
Saunas and steam rooms help people get in a better cardiovascular condition due increased blood circulation. Better circulation is associated with low blood pressure and low risks of several diseases related to heart and arteries. Even the healing of blood disorders is associated with better blood circulation. Therefore, saunas and steam can be beneficial to people with potential heart problems.
Saunas and steam rooms can also help people with respiratory problems. People who suffer from chronic diseases such as bronchitis or sinusitis might find it beneficial.
The heat generated by saunas and steam rooms help alleviation of pains related to muscles, joints and bones. Many people who suffer from arthritis should try using a sauna or steam room because they can help reduce swelling and effectively deal with the initial symptoms.
Stronger Immune System
Excessive stress combined with mood disorders can impair your immune system’s functionality. While using a sauna or steam room does not directly boost the immune system, however, improved mood with reduced stress levels can strengthen your immune system.
Mental Health – Improved Mood, Reduced Stress
Saunas and steam rooms can improve our overall mood. One of the most common issues we deal with today is stress. In our modern society, people live and work in a frantic way, spend the majority of their time hustling and bustling. Problems of everyday life, related to work, finances or love affairs add to the accumulation of stress and anxiety, causing a number of disorders. Therefore, it is normal that they develop a great degree of stress that is responsible for a vast array of mental health problems.
Saunas and steam rooms are being considered as one of the most effective ways to fight off stress, as it offers complete relaxation to the body and mind. Stress relief that comes with sauna rooms improves our overall health.
As with physical activities, saunas and steam rooms are quite rejuvenating and can be mentally refreshing. People who deal with lots of stress during the day and experience fatigue can feel more relaxed and calm after a sauna or steam room session. As they help relax muscles and nerves, people might consider it to be a very welcome experience as an enjoyable break from the everyday humdrum of life.
No wonder that saunas and steam rooms are considered to be a holistic method of treating several conditions and improving mental and physical health.
People who use saunas and steam rooms often claim that they lose weight as well. Some fitness experts also maintain that saunas and steam rooms are a safe and effective alternative for those who cannot, for some reason, undertake more physical exercise to lose weight. However, the truth is that any actual pounds dropped in a sauna or steam room will be due to fluid loss like water, not fat. This means that the weight you lost will be replaced as soon as you start eating or drinking. Also keep in mind that those claims as to the high amount of amount of calories you can burn per session are often exaggerated.
It is claimed that one of the greatest benefits associated with saunas and steam rooms is detoxification. Our skin and body are susceptible to accumulation of dirt and debris that comes from the atmosphere and the foods we consume. It is true that uses of saunas and steam rooms make you sweat more and help you sweat off substances you put on your skin such as a sunscreen. However, sweating won’t help you detoxify your body as toxins are mainly removed by the kidneys, liver, and digestive system.
Dry Sauna Over Steam Rooms
Are you thinking of setting up a dry heat sauna or steam room in your home? Dry saunas and steam rooms both have their pros and cons, although a dry sauna seem to have a few more advantages compared to a steam room. Let’s look at some of the advantages and why you can choose a dry sauna over a steam room.
Dry saunas feature lower levels of humidity as opposed to steam rooms. This means that a dry sauna can get much hotter than a steam room. Without the high levels of humidity that make the atmosphere suffocating, a dry sauna can be set to higher temperatures. The high temperature helps the body sweat more. Heart rate might also increase up to significant but safe levels, enabling the metabolic functions to be more effective and efficient.
Experts suggest that people who have respiratory problems should avoid dry saunas, or at least avoid using them frequently. High temperatures are supposedly not very good for them.
People who use dry saunas more than 3 times per week might also see their skin become drier due to immense temperatures. This is one of the disadvantages of dry saunas, since humidity levels are low. However, people who use it once in a while may not have to deal with any of these problems seriously.
The best known advantage of steam rooms is that they promote skin hydration, which is very important to those who have clogged pores and oily skin. Humidity levels are kept really high, reaching 100% in some cases.
Steam saunas are good for people with respiratory problems, or chronic conditions such as bronchitis or allergies and asthma. Humidity and steam open up the lungs, allowing them to breathe better and deeper. They also help relieve the tension from chest muscles releasing the accumulated mucus.
Steam saunas can become breeding grounds for bacteria that live in warm and humid environments. This can be a problem if the steam room is not properly cleaned. Therefore safety and sanitary measures should be maintained at all times.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Portable Saunas
Saunas are among the most popular health and fitness related activities. Experts have been harping about the numerous advantages of saunas for our body, encouraging people to use them.
Today people can actually enjoy their own sauna and even take it with them when moving. There are portable saunas that are available in the market today. They are very practical and affordable even if you are on a tight budget. Portable saunas are relatively lightweight and are sold at reasonable prices.
Portable saunas are easy to move. They are made this way so as to allow people to move them wherever they want. They weigh something between twenty to sixty pounds and are compact and easy to set up at any time. They use electrical power and are ready to use once plugged into a standard electrical outlet.
They are very easy to heat up, and can be used within minutes. They are very practical and convenient, especially for those who do not have much time and want to have a sauna treatment when coming from work or before leaving home. A typical and traditional sauna needs at least thirty minutes to heat up, while portable ones need no more than three to five minutes.
Portable saunas allow people to avoid inhaling the warm air, which is associated with several medical conditions. In a portable sauna you sit with your head outside, although you can use the optional head cover as well. Portable saunas are very easy to store, as they take little space. You can store it even in the closet or under the bed.
Although saunas are considered to be safe, they have some disadvantages. First of all, portable saunas offer a frustrating experience to those who are claustrophobic or feel uneasy when confined in a small space. Portable saunas require people to stay still for some time in a small space. Therefore some people might feel uncomfortable, although the fact that they have their heads outside should help a lot.
Moreover, portable saunas cannot offer the same amount of heat as normal saunas. The reason why some people do not like portable saunas is that their temperature levels are somewhat limited compared to a traditional one. If you seek intense heat, then you shouldn’t opt for a portable sauna.
In any case, portable saunas are an easy, practical and effective way to get the benefits associated with heat and steam. They might be less intense than typical saunas but they are dependable and much more convenient, allowing you to use them whenever you want.
Health Risks – A Word Of Caution
Moderate use of a sauna or steam room should be safe for most people. However, a person who has a cardiovascular disease, low blood pressure or has recently had a heart attack should talk to a doctor first to make sure it is safe.
Also, people with certain conditions will be at a higher risk of dehydration which can result from fluid loss while sweating. Generally speaking, the longer you stay in a sauna or steam room, the more you risk dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to limit the time you spend in a sauna or steam room to about 15 to 20 minutes.
Also, be aware that high temperatures and humidity can lead to dizziness and nausea in some people.