At The Phoenicia Malta’s Deep Nature Spa we have a number of facilities one can enjoy. These include a beautiful indoor pool, salt room, multi-jet showers, sauna as well as a steam room. One may wonder whether certain amenities truly offer any benefits to their users. This blog will focus on steam rooms and why they may, in fact, be deemed beneficial to us all.
Are steam rooms the same as saunas?
Sometimes steam rooms may be confused with saunas. Whilst steam rooms are considered similar to saunas, the main difference is in the type of heat that they provide. A sauna uses dry heat, usually from hot rocks or a closed stove (the latter system is used at Deep Nature Malta). Steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. 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.
Here are the main benefits of these rooms:
Sitting in a steam room might significantly improve your cardiovascular health. A study of older individuals 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.
Lowers blood pressure
Another study showed that in a steam room, some people’s bodies 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.
Being in the steam room can also decrease your body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates the level of stress that you feel. When your cortisol levels drop, you feel more in control and relaxed. Spending a few minutes in a relaxed state not only improves your health, but also helps heal your mind and improve your focus.
Promotes skin health
Through environmental exposure, all sorts of toxins can become trapped underneath your skin. Steam rooms help solve that problem by using heat to open 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.
Boosts the immune system
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 defence, 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.
Aids in workout recovery
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. A recent study showed that moist heat works as effectively and more quickly than dry heat in muscle recovery. Keep this in mind after your work-out at The Phoenicia Malta’s fitness centre!
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.
Loosens stiff joints
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. During a particular study, heat was applied to the knee joint before activity, and as a result, the joint was far more flexible and relaxed. The results showed that heat can help reduce injury before a workout. It was also found that women especially benefitted from heat therapy on the knee joint to prevent injury.
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.
With all these benefits, what are you waiting for? Book your next session at Deep Nature Malta via this link or ask our staff at The Phoenicia Malta to direct you towards the spa.
Deep Nature Spa