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saunas and steam

The health benefits of saunas and steam rooms

Saunas and steam rooms have been used by a wide variety of people for thousands of years now and for good reason; top one being that these relaxing experiences have endless health benefits. It’s good to know the differences between the two activities.

So, whether you head to a local steam or sauna room, you may have these facilities in your local gym or you might be lucky enough to have one installed in your own home, here’s everything you need to know about the two!


A sauna is a room where you can relax in dry heat. They are all generally installed by sauna suppliers and heat to between seventy or one hundred degrees celsius, but there are many different varieties available. A traditional Finnish sauna, for example, tends to have a relative humidity of ten to twenty percent, while a Turkish-style sauna is likely to have much higher levels of humidity.
The intention of a sauna is to raise your skin’s temperature to around forty degrees celsius. There are various health benefits associated with this, which can include:

  • Reduced pain in the joints
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better cardiovascular health
  • Improvement of skin conditions, such as psoriasis

It’s important to avoid saunas if you have cardiovascular problems, are pregnant, or have recently drank alcohol or been intoxicated in any other way. Make sure that you stay hydrated at all times when using a sauna and avoid spending more than ten minutes in the sauna at any given time.

Steam Rooms

Steam rooms are relatively similar to saunas in that they are hot spaces, however there are significant differences between a sauna and a steam room. Steam rooms are heated by a generator that causes boiling water to steam, and the main key to the health benefits it provides is the humidity that it produces.
Steam rooms are supposed to:

  • Improve circulation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Clear congestion
  • Improve skin conditions
  • Reduce joint stiffness
  • Boost the immune system

Be careful when making your way around a steam room as surfaces can become extremely slippy. Just like the sauna, you should also remain hydrated and limit the amount of time that you spend in the steam during one sitting.
As you can see, both saunas and steam rooms come hand in hand with a whole host of benefits for your overall health and wellbeing. We’re just lucky that spending time in them tends to also be a relatively enjoyable experience!
Here’s some of my favourite selfcare ‘me time’ things to do.
*This is a collaborative post.