Even though both the Infrared Sauna and the Steam Room have similar health benefits, these two devices serve specific needs for people, with largely different purposes. Both the infrared sauna and the steam room help you by:
- Increasing Your Circulation
- Making You Sweat
- Cleaning Your Skin
- Cleaning Your Body Internally
However, the mechanisms that each of these utilizes are entirely different, and one will work better based on individual health and needs. Regardless, adding one or both of these devices into your schedule can help you relax and provide numerous health benefits as well!
Choosing Which is Right for You – Steam Room or Sauna
The most significant deciding factor for people in determining whether to opt for using an infrared sauna or a steam room is generally their current health condition. Both of these can be taxing on your heart, but the steam room makes it far more difficult to breathe.
The steam room can have powerful and immediate positive benefits for those with respiratory issues, but it also could be “too much” for those with severe breathing problems.
For most people, it is beneficial to try both and feel which you are more comfortable with!
Aside from improving your breathing, the steam room and infrared sauna have several other communal benefits including:
Powerful Relaxation Effects
Using a sauna or steam room is a perfect way to relax and drain stress out of your body. The heat and therapeutic setting can have immediate impacts on your physical and mental stress levels!
Boosts Your Immune System
Since both of these cause an increase in body temperature and sweating, they are both excellent for your immune system. Sweating is your body’s natural way of cleaning itself, and both the steam room and sauna maximize your body’s ability to sweat!
Steam rooms and saunas are also useful in weight loss and cellulite reduction as a result of their detoxification effects. Combine them with other weight loss tips to truly lose weight effectively.
Improve Physical Conditioning
Saunas and steam rooms improve physical conditioning and athletic performance as they promote higher levels of oxygen in your blood, enabling longer duration’s of exercise and more energy for the athlete.
Specific Health Benefits of Using a Steam Room
There are several benefits you can derive from using the steam rooms, including:
Great Moisture Effect
With an effective humidity level of 100%, steam rooms can provide a high level of moisture that is soothing and can help hydrate your skin, leaving you looking and feeling more youthful. The steam acts as a natural moisturizer, without any chemicals!
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Your cortisol levels will drop from steam room use. Between the heat and the steam, your body will naturally lower its stress levels, increasing your REM sleep time (the most restorative phase of sleep).
Help You Breathe Better
Using a steam room will loosen the secretions from the linings of your throat, lungs, and sinuses, cleaning your nasal passages and easing the flow of oxygen to your brain!
Help You Adapt to Heat
Using a steam room is a great way to condition the body to resist extreme heat and fatigue, without stressing yourself with intense physical exercise in a unique way.
Additional Notes About Using a Steam Room
There are numerous benefits of the steam room, that is for sure!
However, due to the presence of moisture, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Steam rooms need to be disinfected regularly, and by a trained individual.
For some people, the steam room may be far-too overpowering at first, and will only be able to withstand 5-10 minutes in the steam.
Over time, this will work to increase your body’s overall conditioning, even though it can be a limiting factor at first. Barring issue with either of these factors, the steam room can significantly enhance nearly everyone’s health!
Benefits of Infrared Sauna Use
Apart from sharing common benefits with the steam room, there are many unique benefits of using an infrared sauna. Including:
Producing More Sweat
Infrared saunas help your body sweat heavily at lower temperatures than other saunas since they heat the body from the inside-out. Other dry saunas which use rocks for heating, heat you only with temperature. This misses several of the benefits of what the infrared sauna does.
Detox Heavy Metals & More
Toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, and bad-bacteria are all released through sweating in an infrared sauna since the sauna itself heats portions of your body which are usually un-cleansable.
Believe it or not, the infrared sauna burns a significant amount of calories, even being cited as up to 500 calories in 30 minutes! This is probably a missed estimation but goes to show there are legitimate weight-loss benefits of using an infrared sauna.
Lower Blood Sugar
The increase in blood circulation can help lower and stabilize your blood pressure. According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes,
“results suggest that infrared sauna use may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and waist circumference.”
Who Should Use an Infrared Sauna or Steam Room?
Sauna therapy has been proven effective in helping to treat numerous dysfunctions and diseases.
Although you should always consult a doctor before attempting to treat a specific issue with a steam room, sauna or anything else, infrared saunas and steam rooms can be beneficial in the treatment of:
- Post-myocardial infarction
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Cognitive heart failure
There is a large number of health benefits that you can find from using these devices, especially if you are using them correctly.
If you take proper precautions, and you are within the health ranges of utilizing them, there is little-to-no reason you should not make time for the sauna and steam room regularly!
Additional Reading: What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Sauna Suit While Exercising?