A steam room is a heated room that people use to relax and relieve some medical conditions. Gyms or spas often have a steam room.
A steam room is created when a water-filled generator pumps steam into an enclosed space, creating moisture in the air.
The temperature inside a steam room is generally around 100–110°F with a high humidity level.
Steam rooms have several health benefits.
Sitting in a steam room has been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system, particularly in older people.
Steam room therapy can also help reduce blood pressure, keep the heart healthier, and help repair broken skin tissue caused by wounds, such as ulcers.
Both steam rooms and saunas will make a person sweat due to the heat. The sweating opens up the pores and helps cleanse the outer skin.
Warm condensation will help rinse away dirt and dead skin and may help treat acne.
However, unlike a sauna, a steam room also helps remove the toxins trapped below the skin.
A person’s muscles will often feel sore after a workout. This pain is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is important to relax the muscles after exercise to promote a quick and problem-free recovery.
Loosens stiff joints
Using a steam room before a workout can help loosen up the joints and increase flexibility, just as a pre-workout warm-up does.
Steam rooms can also help reduce joint pain.
Relaxing in a steam room can also decrease cortisol levels, which is a hormone the body releases in response to stress. When the cortisol level drops, people can feel more in control, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
Opens up sinuses
The heat from a steam room opens up the mucous membranes around the body, allowing deeper, easier breathing.
The steam from a steam room can break up the congestion in the sinuses and lungs and, therefore, might help treat colds, unblock sinuses, and aid breathing.
When a person is inside a steam room, their heart rate increases. Using a steam room after exercise can help prolong an elevated heart rate.
Experts have found that when used alongside a suitable exercise program, the heat generated by the steam room and the sweating it causes can stimulate the body and increase wellness.
There is no scientific evidence to support the belief that using a steam room aids weight loss.
Any weight reduction after using a steam room is typically due to water loss, and people must replace this deficit by drinking water afterward to avoid dehydration.
However, alongside a balanced, nutritious diet and exercise plan, using a steam room can help burn calories.
Steam rooms and saunas are similar are both heated rooms used for relaxation and to help relieve symptoms of some medical conditions. However, there are differences between the two.
The key difference is that steam rooms offer moist heat, while a sauna provides dry heat from a wood or electric stove.
A sauna is a wood-paneled space with a stove that heats rocks that radiate heat into the enclosed room.
There will sometimes be a small amount of steam in the room if the user puts water onto the hot rocks.
The temperature in a sauna is usually higher than in a steam room at around 160°F, while the humidity level is much lower.
While there are many benefits associated with a steam room, people using them should do so with caution and be aware of the risks.
Due to the heat, there is a risk of dehydrating the body, and it is advisable not to spend longer than 10 minutes inside. It is also important to drink plenty of water beforehand.
A steam room also provides the ideal environment for certain bacteria and germs to grow and spread.
Examples of this risk are athlete’s foot and other fungal infections that can thrive in warm, humid conditions. So it is advisable to wear a towel and flip-flops or shower shoes when inside a steam room.
Due to the extreme heat in steam rooms, steam rooms are not suitable for the following people:
- pregnant people
- anyone with heart disease
- those with very low or high blood pressure
- anyone with epilepsy
- those taking antibiotics
- people who take stimulants or tranquilizers or drink alcohol
It is important to avoid high heat and intense sunlight in general when taking antibiotics and other medications.
Steam rooms offer many health benefits for joints, circulation, skin, and sinuses. They work using a combination of high heat and humidity to relax muscles and soothe nerves.
Steam rooms are not without risk, however. Users should be mindful of possible bacteria and fungi that may thrive in warm, humid environments. Always wear footwear in a steam room.
Also, it’s important to stay hydrated and avoid the heat of saunas and steam rooms if using certain medications.
If someone has any concerns about using a steam room, check with a doctor first.