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Sauna vs. Steam Room (Benefits, Similarities, & Differences)

October 6th, 2021 | 10 min. read

Sauna vs. Steam Room (Benefits, Similarities, & Differences)

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Have you ever been in either a sauna or steam room because you wanted to relax your muscles after an intense workout, or even to just meditate and decompress after a long stressful day? You can indeed use these specified areas for this, but did you know there are real benefits in using a sauna and or steam room?

I think it is safe to say that most people are aware of what a sauna and a steam room are, but what they may not know is that they are both different and they both aid and assist in various aspects of your overall well-being. 

We here at the Paseo club are very knowledgeable about both saunas and steam rooms, because we have both of those here. We know everything there is to know about how to make them work properly, the correct temperature they should be set to, and the benefits of using both a sauna and steam room.

In this article, we will go into detail as to what the differences are between saunas and steam rooms and the positive effects that they both provide for your health. We feel that you should be informed about what you are using before you are using it. Therefore it will ensure that you are getting the most out of your experience when using a sauna or steam room.  

What Is A Sauna? 

A sauna is a small area designed primarily for relaxation. With a temperature ranging anywhere from 160F and 220F, there is no doubt that it can get pretty toasty in a sauna. 

Saunas usually have a designated location where you will find hot rocks, which is a key element in most saunas. These rocks help to absorb and give off heat while in the sauna. 

A cool aspect of a sauna is that if you wanted to add steam, you could do so by dropping a small amount of water over the rocks to create steam. 

However, the main characteristic that deciphers the difference between a sauna and a steam room is that a sauna uses dry heat while a steam room uses boiling water that turns into steam. 

Clearly, both of these rooms use heat as their main factor for relaxation, however, it is the way that the heat is used that makes them different and explains why some of the benefits are different.  

 

Time 

Some people may ask, what is the maximum amount of time that I should be in a sauna for? To answer this question simply is 15 to 20 minutes. This is the recommended amount of time because if you were to stay in a sauna any longer than that, you may increase your risk for dehydration. 

An excellent way to determine when you should get out of the sauna is when your body feels good and hot. 

This may sound silly because you may be thinking, isn’t a sauna already hot? Yes, it is, but once in a sauna, your body becomes acclimated to that temperature inside. So once you feel like you have exceeded the amount of heat your body can take before your 15 to 20 minutes is up, then it is advised to get out. 

5 Benefits of using a Sauna 

In this portion of the article, we are going to dive deep into 5 benefits that come from using a sauna. Many individuals aren’t aware of the many health benefits that derive from sauna use, so we feel that it is extremely beneficial that we inform you, so you have more knowledge other than the basic fact that saunas are used for relaxing. 

1.) Recovery & Relaxation

Sometimes after intense workouts and physical activity, the  muscles in our bodies become tight and sometimes result in body aches and pains. An excellent way to help aid this problem is to utilize a sauna. 

The high temperature of heat in a sauna helps our bodies to release endorphins. For those that don’t know what endorphins necessarily are, they are chemicals made in our body to relieve any pain and stress built up in our bodies. 

By using a sauna it helps to increase the blood flow and circulation in your body to aid any muscle tenderness, soreness, and pain. With increased blood flow and circulation, comes increased recovery time. 

Therefore it is highly suggested to use a sauna to relax your mind and body after an intense workout and to also aid any aches and pains. However you don’t have to work-out to use a sauna, you can merely go into a sauna and utilize it for the benefits it provides your body.

 

2.) Improved Health of your Brain

It is said that a study was conducted that lasted approximately 20 years, with over 2,000 individuals taking part in it. This long-term study conducted by Dr. Jari Laukkanen concluded that using a sauna 4-7 times per week on average for over 15 minutes each time, helped to lower the risk of attaining Alzheimer's & Dementia. 

By the end of this study, they realized that the high temperature of heat causes increased sweat, which is ultimately responsible for helping to improve the brain. 

In addition to this study, scientists have concluded that increased sauna use promotes BDNF, which is a fancy acronym for saying that sauna use increases the growth and development of new brain cells which is essential in improving brain memory and overall functionality of the brain. 

3.) Promote Sleep

By utilizing a sauna regularly it is proven that you can achieve a more relaxed, more sound, and even deeper sleep.

Due to the high temperature of the sauna, we know that it helps to release endorphins. Not only does this occur when using a sauna, but your body and endorphins, in general, become more elevated due to the heat your body produces but more specifically at night time before bed.

By beginning, this process of early endorphin release, allows your body to slowly decline the number of endorphins being produced and released and helps to aid a more swift and relaxed sleep. 

Many individuals worldwide have exclaimed that they feel a difference in sleep when using saunas to promote relaxation and the process of preparing the body for a good night's sleep. 

4.) Helps Burn Calories 

When using a sauna it is very normal to experience increased heart rate and this is primarily because of the temperature of the room itself. 

If you hit the sauna after any workout it is apparent that your heart rate has already increased from that workout and once in the steam room it remains increased and can elongate that increased rate for a long period. 

If you use a sauna correctly and to its full potential then your body can experience ways of muscle stimulation that it might not when working out, thus promoting the burning of additional calories.

A sauna is not responsible for helping you lose weight, it just helps to burn water weight and maintain your exercise routine to make it as effective and efficient as possible.

5.) Stress Relief

There is no doubt that there has at least been one time in your life where you have been stressed. For some stress is an everyday occurrence and for others maybe not so much. A positive benefit that results from sauna usage is that the heat of a sauna helps to relax individuals.

The specific levels of heat help to maintain the levels of cortisol that can be found in our blood. For those that don’t know what cortisol is, it is a hormone that is released when people are overcome with stress. 

No matter how high or how low your stress levels are, cortisol is released once triggered. It is important to regulate stress levels, and one of the many ways to do so is by using a sauna. If your cortisol levels become exceedingly high then you can face dangerous health problems and issues. 

While in a sauna, use that time to practice some deep breathing, self-reflection, and relaxation. By doing so it will help to trigger the release of serotonin, aka the “happy hormone”. Not only will you feel good mentally but you will feel better physically as well. 

 

What is A Steam Room?

A steam room is a small area designated for both cleansing and relaxation. You may be asking yourself what kind of cleansing? Steam rooms usually reach a temperature of about 110F to 120F. This temperature promotes the opening of your pores, which essentially cleanse out your face and any additional toxins in your body. 

What is so cool about a steam room is that it does all the work for you. Unlike a sauna where you have to pour water on the rocks if you want to add some steam, you don't have to do that in some steam rooms because it does it automatically for you. 

The key factor that differentiates a steam room from a sauna is that a steam room uses boiling hot steam water that is flushed throughout the room and this is considered the “wet” room due to the water in the atmosphere, whereas saunas are considered “dry” rooms due to the dry heat omitted in the air. 

Recommended time to spend in a steam room

Oftentimes people ask, what is the maximum amount of time that I should be spending in a steam room? The answer to that is, 15 to 20 minutes. It is said that this is the recommended amount of time because if you were to stay in a steam room any longer than that, you may increase your risk for dehydration, just like that of being in a sauna. 

A great method in helping you decide when you should get out of a steam room is the same way to determine when to exit a sauna, and that is when your body feels nice and hot

Yes, this may sound silly because you are probably thinking, isn’t a steam room already really hot? The answer is yes, it is, but, once in a steam room, your body adjusts to the temperature that is inside. So once you feel like you have exceeded the amount of heat your body can retain before your 15 to 20 minutes is up, then it is advised to get out. 

5 Benefits of using a Steam Room

In this portion of the article, we are going to dive deep into 5 benefits that come from using a steam room. Many individuals aren’t aware of the many health benefits that derive from steam room use, so we feel that it is extremely beneficial that we inform you, so you have more knowledge other than the basic fact that steam rooms are used for relaxing. 

1.) Clears Congestion 

Steam rooms are an environment that encourages individuals to work on deep breathing. While doing so in this high-temperature area can help to break up any potential congestion that can be found in your sinus cavity or your lungs. 

By doing this, it can promote your breathing greatly because you will no longer have any excess build-up. It is said that using a steam room can help to treat colds and or sinus infections. 

2.) Promotes skin health 

Because of exposure to various environments daily, it is no secret that dirt, toxins, and oils accumulate under the skin. It is very important to get rid of these negative externalities to increase the health and longevity of your skin.  

 

To help aid this situation, spending time in a steam room weekly can help to open up your pores and essentially cleanse them. Because of the high temperature of the room, it cleanses away excess dirt and dead skin, to leave your face clean and glowing afterward.

 

3.) Recovery & Relaxation

Sometimes after intense workouts and physical activity, the muscles in our bodies become tight and sometimes result in body aches and pains. An excellent way to help aid this problem is to utilize a steam room.

Due to the high temperature of heat in a steam room, it helps our bodies to release endorphins. For those that don’t know what endorphins necessarily are, they are chemicals made in our body to relieve any pain and stress built up in our bodies. 

By using a steam room it helps to increase the blood flow and circulation in your body to aid any muscle tenderness, soreness, and pain. With increased blood flow and circulation, comes increased recovery time. 

Therefore it is highly suggested to use a steam room to relax your mind and body after an intense workout and to also aid any aches and pains. However you don’t have to work out to use a steam room, you can merely go into a steam room and utilize it for the benefits it provides your body.

4.) Burns calories

When using a steam room it is very normal to experience increased heart rate and this is primarily because of the temperature of the room itself. 

If you hit the steam room after any workout it is apparent that your heart rate has already increased from that workout and once in the steam room it remains increased and can elongate that increased rate for a long period. 

If you use a steam room correctly and to its full potential then your body can experience ways of muscle stimulation that it might not when working out, thus promoting the burning of additional calories.

A steam room is not responsible for helping you lose weight, it just helps to burn water weight and maintain your exercise routine to make it as effective and efficient as possible.

5.) Lowers Blood Pressure

We are aware that when in a steam room, an individual's heart rate can fluctuate. While this occurs, a hormone can be released called aldosterone that aids in keeping your blood pressure at a constant level. 

This process helps to lower blood pressure and help keep your mind and body in a relaxed state while using the steam room.

 

Let’s get to it! 

After becoming knowledgeable about the many benefits that both saunas and steam rooms offer for everyone's health, are you interested in becoming an avid user of either of the two?  

Great news you have come to the right place! At the Paseo Club we have the best of both worlds because we have both saunas and steam rooms here. 

We have two separate spa areas, one of which is for women and the other for men. That means that both men and women have their own sauna and steam room in their own spa area. This is a total of two sauna rooms and two steam rooms.

The only way to know for sure if you think using a sauna or steam room on a frequent basis may be right for you, is to try it out for yourself. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial with us to try out the club, the amenities we have to offer, and see if it’s a good match.

We’re excited for you to come in and try out the club and explore, if you become interested, then you may want to consider purchasing a monthly membership. Can’t wait to see you at the club!