Turn Up the Heat: Sauna and Steam Room Benefits

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Using steam rooms regularly will give your bloodstream an immunity boost that could lead to you getting sick less often.

Very few things beat a good sweat session or steam where you come out drenched, but renewed after flushing out all the unwanted toxins from your body.

Whether you prefer a sauna or steam room (which is a type of sauna, BTW), both can do wonders for your health. For one, the heat inside a sauna can cause various changes in your body, such as ramping up your heart rate. This can help improve your circulation, which has positive trickle-down effects on your heart, blood pressure, skin, and more, according to Harvard Health.

Saunas, on the other hand, may help you manage various conditions, including rheumatologic and various skin diseases, such as psoriasis though more studies are being conducted on this.


Steam rooms are similar to saunas where both include sitting in a small, heated room. The big difference is in the type of heat that they provide. A sauna uses dry heat, usually from hot rocks or a closed stove, and steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water.

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Steam room | Image Credit: Sunrise Speciality

While a sauna may help relax and loosen your muscles, it won’t have the same health benefits of a steam room. The key to the steam room’s unique health benefits is the humidity.

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Sauna | Image Credit: Health Fitness Revolution

Here are seven ways steam and sauna rooms can benefit general health:


Studies have proven that sitting in a steam room might significantly improve your cardiovascular health, especially with older individuals who showed that moist heat improved circulation, especially in extremities. Improved circulation can lead to lowered blood pressure and a healthier heart. It can also promote healing of broken skin tissue.

Sitting in hot steam enables people’s bodies to release hormones that change their heart rate. One of these hormones, called aldosterone, regulates your blood pressure. When aldosterone is released from sitting in the steam room, it can help lower high blood pressure. This is part of the reason that the steam room makes you feel relaxed.


Steam rooms create an environment that warms the mucous membrane and encourages deep breathing. As a result, using one can help break up congestion inside your sinuses and lungs.

Steam therapy used for treating colds and sinus infections at home is controversial because of the potential to scald yourself if you do it incorrectly. But steam rooms are relatively safe in comparison, as long as you don’t stay inside for too long. It’s also crucial to note that you should never use a steam room if you have a fever.



Through environmental exposure, all sorts of toxins can become trapped underneath your skin. Steam rooms help solve that problem by using heat to open up your pores. The warm condensation rinses away the dirt and dead skin that can lead to breakouts. As a result, you may have clearer and more even-toned skin.


The pain you feel after working out is called delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS). Professional athletes have known for decades that heat therapy can help them recover from training workouts. Heat can penetrate deep into muscle tissue and help relieve DOMS. Also, moist heat works effectively and also more quickly than dry heat in muscle recovery.


Warming up before a workout is critical in avoiding injury. Using a steam room as part of your warm-up could help you reach maximum mobility during activities such as running, Pilates, and yoga. Studies have showed that heat can also help to reduce injury before a workout.


When you’re in the steam room or sauna, your heart rate increases. If you use a steam room after an aerobic workout, your heart rate is already elevated, and the steam room can prolong that elevation. When used correctly, experts note that saunas and steam rooms stimulate your body in ways that typical exercise does not.

However, sweating it out in the steam room isn’t a tool to lose weight quickly, and any weight you lose in the steam room is water weight, which will need to be replaced again by drinking more water to avoid dehydration. With that said, using steam rooms regularly as a way to burn more calories at the gym could help your diet and exercise routine be more effective.


Different forms of hydrotherapy are known to boost immunity, and steam rooms are no exception. Exposing your body to warm water stimulates leukocytes, which are cells that fight infection. Sitting in a steam room when you’re fighting off a cold shouldn’t be your first line of defense, though, as there’s no proof that the steam can kill a brewing infection. But using steam rooms regularly will give your bloodstream an immunity boost that could lead to you getting sick less often.

And to make sure safety is always a priority, never use the sauna or steam room if you have consumed alcohol, have heart conditions, are pregnant, or have low blood pressure.

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