In the cold season, visits to the sauna and steam bath are particularly beneficial. But what are the health benefits of sweating?
Sweat baths are firmly anchored in the Finns’ culture, especially since the heated rooms were also developed there. In this country, wellness lovers also swear by the soothing and healing power of sauna and steam baths. Over the past few decades, an entire tourism sector has established itself with a focus on spa and well-being.
The health-promoting effect of saunas and steam baths is now undisputed. But what are the actual benefits of sweating for the body and mind? And how good are steam baths for health compared to saunas ?
Sauna bathing lowers blood pressure
Professor Jari Laukkanen and his team from the University of Eastern Finland have studied how sweating in the sauna affects health . The current study involved 100 people and showed that a 30-minute sauna session lowers blood pressure. Even 30 minutes later, the blood pressure remained below the level before the sauna session. In addition, the research team found that regular sauna visits reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Frequent sauna use has also been linked to a reduction in respiratory disease.
Sweating against stress and sleep disorders
Most sauna and steam bath lovers know about the relaxing effect of sweating: the warmth lifts the mood and helps to reduce stress. This in turn has a positive effect on heart health. A regular visit to the sauna is not only balm for the soul, but also purifies the body, cleanses the skin, strengthens the immune system and stimulates the vegetative nervous system. Sauna bathing can also help with headaches and insomnia .
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Comparison of sauna and steam baths
The two main differences between the sauna and steam room are temperature and humidity. While the temperature in the steam bath is between 40 and 60 degrees Celsius, it is significantly hotter in the classic Finnish sauna at 70 to 90 degrees. The humidity in the steam bath is 100 percent, while in the sauna it is completely dry. In the steam bath, the air condenses on the skin, which is often confused with beads of sweat. The body cools down in the sauna and therefore begins to sweat. The best place to relax and unwind really depends on individual preferences. Because both types of sweat baths are equally healthy and effective.
For sauna beginners or people with circulatory problems, the steam bath is often a better place to start because it is perceived as milder due to the lower temperatures.
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