6 Reasons Why You Need A Steam
Bathing in a sauna is a truly unique experience and it’s no surprise that it has been popular for thousand of years. The Finnish word 'sauna' means bath or bathhouse where one experiences dry or wet heat sessions making him or her sweat. The heat and humidity – and of course, originally the smoke – of the cabin creates an environment that is clean, purifying and restoring. Back in the mists of time, it was a place where children were born and women went through the purification ritual before marriage. There was no cleaner or more cleansing place. A steam:
#1 Soothes and relaxes tired muscles
There is nothing better than a session after a tiring workout. Wanting to increase your range of motion and loosen tight muscles? Say hello to your new best friend!
#2 Helps to relieve mental fatigue
When your body is relaxed your mind feels better and you feel better. A regular sauna session can help lower the level of cortisol in the body, allowing you to release the stress and tension you feel. Moreover, sweating, the main effect of steaming, helps reduce feelings of frustration and anxiety.
#3 Improves circulation
When you sweat, your blood vessels dilates bringing blood closer to the surface of the skin and, as blood vessels expand to accommodate increased blood flow, circulation in the extremities improves. The expansion of blood vessels is called vasodilation.
#4 Provides a cardiovascular workout
Okay, this one is a game changer. As if cardio heaven existed. Little recap from point #3 explains how blood vessels become elastic and pliable longer due to regular dilation and contraction from the process of heating and cooling the body repeatedly. In the sauna, the heart rate then increases creating a demand for more oxygen, which in turn burns calories and provides a mild workout for the heart. That's what I call magic!
#5 Promotes healing and releases natural pain killers
Endorphins (one of the three happy hormones; after dopamine and serotonin) and norepinephrines, a neurotransmitter and hormone with the general function of mobilizing the brain and body for action are released as the body's natural pain killers temporarily raise its pain threshold.
#6 Helps with kidney function
Perspiration through the skin's pores releases a good amount of the body's wastes and reduces the load put on the kidneys. The sauna is such an effective detoxifier that some doctors recommend sauna usage to supplement persons on kidney dialysis. Please read*
Bonus: Maintains a clear, healthy skin
Skin is the largest organ of the body and 30% of body wastes exit through it. The sauna elevates the body's ability to rid itself of this waste. Increased blood flow promotes cellular growth and development by bringing important nutrients to subcutaneous and surface tissue. During a sauna session, blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output while regular ranges between 5-10%. The heat relaxes facial tension, stimulates the epidermis, thus increasing circulation and opening pores. The expansion of blood vessels brings essential fluids to the surface, enhancing collagen production, to maintain skin elasticity and a wrinkle-free complexion.