Saunas have been popular in homes in Scandinavia for hundreds of years – in Finland, there is the equivalent of 1 sauna for every 2 people! In the UK we often see them in gyms and Spa hotels where they are credited as being relaxing and detoxifying by promoting sweating to release toxins from the skin.
What’s the difference between a Sauna and a Steam Room?
Often people can get confused about the differences between a sauna and a steam room as they are both, essentially, a hot room used to promote sweating. A sauna produces dry heat from a stove or hot rocks so that the room will get hot but with a very low humidity. A steam room uses moist heat and runs at a lower temperature but with a very high humidity level – some people can find this high humidity to feel a bit suffocating and feel claustrophobic.
Why You Should Consider Installing a Home Sauna
If you have the room then installing a traditional home sauna could be a fabulous idea. In-home saunas probably aren’t as big or as expensive as you think either! You can get a home sauna big enough for two people with LED colour change lighting, integrated Music system, made from premium wood for under £2,000! Let’s look a bit closer at the benefits of a sauna:
- Studies have shown that taking regular saunas can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of stroke and hypertension
- The heat from a sauna helps to relax muscles and soothe aches and pains in the joints. The heat helps the body to release endorphins which can help relieve pain and is similar to the idea of a ‘runner high’ after exercising. As blood vessels dilate it increases circulation which speeds up the body natural healing process.
- Sweating in a sauna can help flush out toxins
- It can improve brain health! The Alzheimer’s Association includes sweating as an important way to improve brain health and a study conducted in Finland showed that regular saunas lowered the risks of both Alzheimers and Dementia.
- The heat in the sauna can help us to relax as it lowers the levels of cortisol in the body and promotes the production of serotonin.
- German research has found that sauna help to significantly reduce the chances of colds and flu among the people in their study, they’ve put this down to the fact that the body can produce white blood cells more quickly in the heat which can then help fight the illness and kill viruses.
- Saunas can cleanse the skin – sweating helps to ‘rinse’ bacteria out of the epidermal layer of the skin. We often use a facial steamer to open our pores and remove dirt from them so why not use it on our whole bodies.
Once you’ve had a session in the sauna you’ll want to rinse in a shower (don’t shock your body with a dramatic change in temperature though) to get rid of sweat and bacteria off of the skin and drink a larger glass of water, all of that sweating can dehydrate you!