Sweat it Out: The 7 Healthy Benefits of Steam Showers
Are you looking for a way to relax and rejuvenate after a long day?
Have you heard of the health benefits of steam showers? Not only does it provide a spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home, but it also offers a variety of health benefits.
Steam showers can help with respiratory issues, improve circulation, and even aid in weight loss.
Whether you’re looking to de-stress, improve your physical health, or just want to pamper yourself, a steam shower may be the perfect solution. In this article, we will explore the wonderful world of steam showers!
When you’re done reading, check out the ultimate guide on converting a regular shower into a steam shower!
What are the Health Benefits of Steam Showers?
1 – Relief from respiratory issues
A steam shower can help with respiratory issues by providing moist heat that can help to open up the airways and loosen phlegm. The steam from the shower can help to loosen and clear mucus from the lungs, making it easier to breathe. (Source)
The heat and humidity from the steam generator can also help to soothe sore throats and dry nasal passages, providing health benefits for those suffering from colds, allergies, or other respiratory conditions. Inhaling steam can also help to increase the overall moisture in the lungs, which can be beneficial for people with asthma or other chronic respiratory conditions.
The moist heat can also help to improve the function of cilia, the tiny hair-like structures that line the airways and help to remove mucus.
2 – Improved circulation
According to this 2012 study, when you take a steam shower, the heat and humidity cause your blood vessels to dilate, or expand. This allows for better blood flow throughout your body. As the blood flows more easily, it can transport oxygen and other important nutrients to your cells more efficiently. The improved circulation can help to reduce inflammation, improve stiff joints and promote overall health benefits.
The moist heat of the steam also cause your heart rate to increase. This is known as the “heat effect,” and it can help to improve cardiovascular fitness. As your heart pumps faster, it can help to strengthen your heart and improve the overall health of your cardiovascular system.
In addition to its effects on circulation, the moist heat of a steam shower can also help to relax and loosen your muscles and stiff joints. This can help to reduce tension and soreness, (Source) and promote a sense of overall relaxation. The heat and humidity can also help to improve flexibility and range of motion, which can be beneficial for athletes and those with certain medical conditions.
If you tend to work out a lot, a nice session in your steam shower after will work wonders for your recovery time.
3 – Relaxation and stress relief
A steam shower can help you relax in a few different ways. The heat and humidity of the steam can help to promote physical relaxation by:
- Loosening and relaxing muscles: The heat and humidity can help to soothe sore and tense muscles, which can promote a sense of physical relaxation.
- Reducing tension headaches: The heat and humidity can help to relieve tension headaches caused by stress and muscle tension.
- Improving flexibility and range of motion: The heat and humidity can help to improve flexibility and range of motion, which can be beneficial for athletes and those with certain medical conditions.The steam shower can also promote mental relaxation by:
A steam room can also promote mental relaxation by:
- Inducing a meditative state: The warmth and humidity can help to create a calming and meditative environment, which can help to quiet the mind and promote a sense of mental calm.
- Encouraging deep breathing: The warmth and humidity can help to open up the airways, which can encourage deep breathing and promote a sense of relaxation.
- Stimulating the release of endorphins: The heat and humidity can help to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that promote feelings of well-being and happiness.
Overall, taking a steam shower can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day. The warmth and humidity can help to promote physical and mental relaxation health benefits, and can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
4 – Improved skin and hair health
Steam showers can help in improving skin health in several ways:
- Cleansing: Steam can help to open up the pores, which can allow dirt, oil, and other impurities to be easily removed from the skin.
- Exfoliating: The heat and humidity of the steam can help to soften the skin, making it easier to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.
- Hydrating: Steam can help to increase blood flow to the skin, which can help to hydrate and nourish the skin. The humidity of the steam can also help to add moisture to the skin.
- Improving skin conditions: Steam can help to improve the appearance of certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne by reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
- Anti-aging: Steam can help to stimulate collagen production, which can help to firm and tone the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It’s important to note that steam can be particularly beneficial for dry and sensitive skin, but it’s important to be careful not to overdo it, as steam can also dry out the skin if it is exposed for too long. It’s also important to moisturize after a session in a steam room to keep skin hydrated. If you use any skin products such as an exfoliant or moisturizer then take advantage of the pores being wide open after a steam session for improving skin health.
Steam bathing can be beneficial for hair in several ways:
- Moisturizing: Steam can help to add moisture to the hair, which can help to hydrate dry and damaged hair.
- Improving elasticity: Steam can help to improve the elasticity of the hair, which can make it less prone to breakage.
- Enhancing hair treatments: Steam can help to enhance the effectiveness of hair treatments such as deep conditioning or hot oil treatments by allowing the hair to absorb the nutrients more effectively.
- Opening up the cuticles: Steam can help to open up the cuticles of the hair, which can allow for better penetration of hair treatments, and can make the hair look shinier and healthier.
- Stimulating blood flow: Steam can help to increase blood flow to the scalp, which can promote hair growth and help to prevent hair loss.
5 – Detoxifying effects
Steam bathing can have several potential detoxifying effects on the body. The heat and humidity of the steam can cause the body to sweat, which can help to remove toxins and impurities from the skin. The steam can also help to open up the pores, making it easier for the body to release toxins.
The heat and humidity of the steam can help to relax muscles and improve circulation, which can aid in the removal of toxins from the body.
A study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012 confirmed that many heavy metals were removed from the body from sweating so steam bathing can have some dramatic health benefits.
6 – Improved sleep
A steam shower before bedtime can help improve sleep in a number of ways. The heat and humidity of the steam can cause the body to sweat, which can help to relax muscles and reduce tension and stress. The heat can also increase blood flow, which can promote relaxation and help to soothe sore muscles.
The steam can also help to open up the airways, which can improve breathing and help to relieve symptoms of congestion or allergies. Also, the humidity can help to moisturize the nasal passages, which can reduce dryness and irritation, and promote easier breathing.
The heat and humidity of steam bathing can also cause the body’s core temperature to rise, which can signal to the body that it’s time to sleep. When the body cools down after a steam shower, it can promote feelings of drowsiness and help to prepare the body for sleep. You can even use some essential oils to promote increased relaxation to help you fall asleep faster.
It’s important to note that the potential benefits of steam shower on sleep are not widely researched, and that the effects may vary depending on the individual and the duration of the steam shower.
7 – Faster post-workout recovery
After a workout, it’s common to feel sore and fatigued. One way to get temporarily relief from the discomfort of joint stiffness is by using steam therapy. The heat and humidity of a steam room can increase blood flow to your muscles, reducing inflammation and soreness. It can also help to loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility, which can prevent injury.
Plus, sweating in the steam room can help remove metabolic waste and impurities from your body, as well as rehydrate you by replenishing fluids lost through sweating. Additionally, steam therapy can open up your airways, improving breathing and oxygenation, which is especially helpful for athletes who need a lot of lung capacity.
Not only that, but steam therapy can also help reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. This can be especially beneficial post-workout, as your body is already in a state of stress due to the workout. The relaxing and calming effects of the steam room can reduce the negative effects of stress on the body, which can help speed up the recovery process.
It’s important to note that if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that may be affected by the heat and humidity of a steam room, you should consult with your doctor before incorporating steam therapy into your post-workout routine. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water before and after your steam room session to keep your cardiovascular system hydrated and flush out metabolic waste. And also be aware of the heart rate, to avoid overstressing the body.
What Are the Risks of Steam Showers?
While steam showers have many health benefits, there are some safety risks to consider.
- Dehydration: Steam showers can cause the body to lose fluids through sweating, which can lead to dehydration if not properly replenished. Drinking water before and after a steam shower is important to stay hydrated.
- Burns: The steam and heat can cause burns to the skin if the temperature is set too high or if the person stays in the shower for too long. It is important to start with a lower temperature and gradually increase it, and to limit the time spent in the shower to prevent burns.
- Fainting: The heat and humidity of the steam shower can cause blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to a decrease in blood pressure and cause a person to faint. It’s important to be aware of one’s own limits and to avoid steam showers if you have low blood pressure or are at risk of fainting.
- Respiratory issues: For people with asthma, bronchitis, or other older people with respiratory conditions, the steam can aggravate symptoms and make it harder to breathe. It is important to avoid the steam shower if you have any respiratory conditions or if you feel any discomfort while in the shower.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women should avoid steam showers, or at least limit the amount of time spent in the shower as the heat and humidity can cause an increase in core body temperature which can be harmful to the developing fetus.
FAQ about the benefits of a steam shower
As you can see there are a number of health and psychological benefits when you convert your regular shower into a steam shower. It doesn’t stop there, however. Many homeowners discovered their home value increased. And, it hardly takes up any space so it is far more practical than having a sauna or regular steam room built in your home. Convinced yet?
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