There’s no denying that both saunas and steam showers offer great benefits – they help relief physical tension and soothe away the troubles of the mind. But whilst steam showers and saunas have much in common, they differ in some ways, and this means one gives you more advantages than the other. Here is a short list of ways a steam shower varies from a sauna, and what extra benefits a steam shower offers:
Steam showers and saunas – the differences
Both operate with heat, meaning the person in the steam shower or sauna is in an enclosure with high temperatures. That, however, is pretty much where the similarities end. Not only is the source of the heat different; the kind of heat and quality of the air can be worlds apart. Below are the three main distinctions:
The heat source – With a sauna, the heat source is located inside the room, while a steam shower uses a heat source outside of the enclosure. The sauna traditionally uses hot stones to heat up the area. The steam shower, on the other hand, uses an external steam generator that pumps steam into the area.
The temperature – saunas use high heat, somewhere between 71 to 93 degrees Celsius. Steam showers, on the other hand, don’t need to produce that much heat because the air is moist, which means temperatures are often in the 40 to 46 degree Celsius range.
Dry and wet heat – the sauna uses dry heat – although the humidity within the room is often increased by pouring water over the hot stones, it never reaches a humidity level of more than 30 percent. Steam showers, however, use wet heat and the steam ensures the room reaches almost 100 percent humidity.
The extra benefits of steam showers
Whilst the sauna surely has its merits, the steam shower can be more beneficial to you because it removes some of the dangers associated with the sauna, and the steam creates extra benefits as well. Here are the three additional benefits of a steam shower:
Hydration – when using the sauna, a person risks dehydration because the dry heat immediately evaporates your perspiration. Steam showers, on the other hand, don’t have the dehydration effect.
Skin care – saunas can leave the skin dry and this can lead to damaged skin cells. A person in the steam shower has constant moisture on the skin, leaving it clean and clear – in fact, much cleaner and clearer than before.
Respiratory relief – steam showers are much better suited for people with respiratory problems, such as sinus infections or laryngitis. The steam soothes the nasal passages and clears the sinuses. Steam therapy also relieves congestion and appeases the respiratory tracts, something the dry heat of the sauna fails to do.
Whilst both the sauna and the steam shower have great health benefits, they are still vastly different -and steam showers tend to offer more advantages at the end of the day.
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