In the wellness community, saunas are becoming increasingly popular. The reasons for this popularity differ depending on who you ask. For some, they are great for the warmth they provide; others use saunas for weight loss and a lot of other reasons.
We classify saunas into two types; Dry and Wet. When we speak of dry saunas, we are referring to those saunas such have a heating source such as wood, stones, or an electrical heater. These saunas are usually between 70 to 100 degrees Celsius and have low humidity. Wet saunas on the other hand refer to steam rooms which depend on the steam from boiling water for their heat. This makes the steams rooms usually not as hot as saunas (about 50 degrees Celsius) but very high in humidity.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY AND WET SAUNA
RESPIRATION – People with lung problems are usually advised not to go into saunas due to the fact that the heat would cause the heart to work more and breathing will be faster so these people prefer wet saunas since the air is humid. In a wet sauna, since the air is infused with water, it is easier on the lungs and they don’t have to work so hard.
ATMOSPHERE – Steam rooms have a foggy feel and if you are into mists then you will like the steam room. Some people however say that it is a bit difficult to navigate in the foggy atmosphere of a steam room and as such they would opt for the clear atmosphere of a dry sauna. Dry saunas, such as the rock-heated sauna use heated rocks to heat up the room. It is the heat radiating from the rocks which make the sauna hot so you can see that thee is no fog build up.
SKIN – Saunas are known for their detoxification feature. When you sweat in a sauna, you rid yourself of toxins which you may have picked up along your day. The heat opens up the pores but this may be counter productive in a steam room if stayed in for too long. Dry saunas usually have a vent which helps make sure that the humidity stays at a bare minimum so sweat evaporates from the skin. Wet saunas do not allow for sweat evaporation so if you stay in a steam room too long, the sweat will end up blocking your pores.
When it comes to dry vs. wet sauna, both help you work up a sweat and both have been found to have positive effect on heart health. Even though dry saunas are hotter, your body may not be able to tell the difference because of the varying humidity levels. As sweat evaporates from your body in a dry sauna, you cool down a bit but in the case of a wet sauna, since there is not evaporation of sweat, you feel a lot hotter.
Steam rooms are better when it comes to clearing of throat, lungs and sinuses. If you want to sweat and inly to sweat then a dry sauna would be preferred. Dry saunas are also recommended if you want increased blood circulation and muscle relief (not that you won’t get these benefits in a wet sauna, but dry saunas are more built for this purpose)
Now we have examined wet vs dry sauna and when it comes to that question, which is more beneficial? Then you really have to decide for yourself based on your own preferences. Both are made for different people and that is why they have different functions.
On the long run, they are both great. The precautions remain the same; do not stay in for too long. 10 to 15 minutes is enough and then you take a break to cool off and return for another 10 – 15 minutes. Both dry and wet saunas can help improve sleep quality and relief stress from the muscles as well.
All being said, should you have any kind of health condition, be it heart-related or otherwise, consult your doctor and know if sauna therapy is right for you.
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