Time does not standstill. But, it is far from a new question that a bath or a sauna is better, and today causes quite a few heated debates. Even in the apartment, you can install a booth and take a steam bath at home—numerous specialized and not-so shops delight with a vast assortment for every taste and budget. Here you can say: “What difference does it make if there is a bath or a sauna. And here and there you can steam up and there will be pleasure and health benefits. “Yes, of course, everything is exactly like that … But still: which is healthier and more rational – a bath or a sauna?
From a structural point of view, both are built of wood; the interior is also made of wood. The ancestor of the baths and saunas is a log hut, heated ” in black.” The difference between a bath and a sauna: the bath is a steam bath, and the sauna is a dry air bath. Bath and sauna, despite their “relationship,” have different effects on the body.
Probably, some 50-60 years ago, such a formulation of the question would have seemed incomprehensible to many. At that time, the absolutely overwhelming majority was aware of the real conceptual difference between the washing function of the steam bath and the “relaxation” of the new sauna.
At that time, most of the “professional” bathers were convinced of the short life of the “pampered” saunas and their absolute inability to create any serious competition for a natural steam bath. But everything is changing. Slowly, gradually, but still evolving. And newfangled “funny” hot rooms with “dry steam” smoothly and confidently conquer the space and thoughts of heat lovers.
Temperature and humidity in the sauna bath. The difference between a sauna and a bath is primarily in the humidity. In the steam bath, the air temperature is 40-70 ° and the relative humidity is 90-100%, and in the sauna at the temperature of 90-110 °, the air humidity ranges from 10-25%.
In the Bath
the main difference between the bath and the sauna is the high air humidity. The main factor in the bath is steam.
The air humidity here practically corresponds to that on the street, and the thermal conductivity of humid air is two times higher than that of dry air. By the way, this is why it is believed that the steam room is closer to the natural conditions for the human body and has a more negligible shock effect than the sauna.
In a steam bath, the temperature at the head level does not exceed 60-65 ° C, but at the same time, a higher steam content is maintained in the air, and due to this, it seems that it soars very much. The high humidity in the steam room of the bath does not evaporate moisture from the body, and the whole body and internal organs warm up nicely.
In the Sauna
In a well-heated sauna, the air is dry; water is not poured on the stones in the sauna, which can lead to burns from overheated steam. And if sprayed with a small amount of water or herbal infusion, then the humidity increases only for a short time.
Dry air, which has a lower thermal conductivity and heat capacity, allows you to raise the temperature in the sauna to 100-120 ° C. However, despite the alarming numbers, such heat in a sauna is very easily tolerated, precisely due to the low humidity. As a result, dry heated air warms up the body more evenly until profuse sweating occurs, then moisture evaporates from the skin; this is a kind of protection against overheating.
Such a mechanism well stimulates the work of the sweat glands, activates the thermoregulatory functions of the body, and toxins are excreted along with sweat.
Features of the classical bath
Without considering all the characteristics of the steam bath, we will only note those that directly distinguish it from the sauna.
- Humidity mode. The main difference between the bath and the sauna is the relatively high air humidity. Typical humidity values in a steam room are 60-70%. Due to such air humidity, it is believed that the characteristics of a steam bath are closer to the conditions natural for the human body. Thus, it has a non-aggressive effect on the human body and, accordingly, is more physiological. However, this is a matter of debate.
- Temperature conditions. The temperature in the bath is maintained within the range of 65-70 ° C. On the upper shelves, the temperature can rise to 75-85 ° C. no doubt raising the temperature to 100 ° C and even more is possible. Still, only a few can withstand vaping with a broom under such conditions, and this can hardly be considered the norm for the majority.
- Vaping features. What is a bath without a broom, birch or oak. When people start steaming and waving a broom in the bath, it feels like the air is getting even hotter. This is where the healing effect of the bath begins. In a bath, a person moves, washes, steams, gives in heat as needed. In the bath, the steam is light and easy to breathe due to the maintenance of the appropriate temperature and humidity. Rest begins after the person leaves the steam room. Now you can say to each other: “With light steam,” go-to drink fresh tea and cool down.
Features of a modern sauna
Two words about the classics. Classic wooden saunas are similar in functionality and interior arrangement to traditional rural baths and combine the features of a dry steam bath. The temperature in the sauna is maintained in the range of 70-100 ° C, the humidity is from 10 to 30%, and you can safely use a broom and give steam in it. But what do we have today?
- Humidity mode. In modern baths – saunas common outside of Suomi, the air humidity is often between 5 and 15%.
- Temperature conditions. The low humidity mode makes it possible to increase the temperature threshold. Therefore, the temperature can reach 120-140 ° C. Such a temperature for the majority does not cause sharp rejection or unpleasant impressions.
Vaping features. Accepting procedures in the widespread modern version of the sauna are determined and formed by temperature and humidity conditions. A broom will not live long in such situations. It will quickly dry out and crumble. And to steam with a broom in such conditions is simply impossible.
- In most cases today, electric ovens are used to heat the room, and excessive steam supply by unknowing citizens leads to burnout of electric heaters. An attempt to supply water to stones with a sprinkler increases the humidity but not the desired effect. However, it brings the temperature and humidity characteristics closer to the classics of the genre.
What is healthier – A Bath or A Sauna?
For many people, there is an equal sign between the bath and the sauna. And a minimal number of those who realize that there is a difference can easily explain what this difference is. Having considered this issue in more detail, we can say a significant difference between these pairs.
To not harm your health and, even more so, your life, you must be able to distinguish between these two concepts. These two types of steam rooms are designed to remove waste and toxins from the body. Here, in fact, for this, you need to warm up your body. Of course, the bath does an excellent job in this.
Naturally, such a sharp change in body temperature is always a shock for our bodies. Therefore, you should not be in a sauna or a bath for more than 15-20 minutes at a time.
So what’s the difference? Let’s start with the sauna. The first component of the sauna is the high temperature, reaching up to +140 degrees. But at the same time, the air in such a steam room is dry and is about 10-15% humidity. In a sauna, a person has more minor motor movements since the air is scalding dry.
The operating principles of our saunas are not complicated, the fire in the stove heats the stones very strongly, and they naturally accumulate heat and then give it to the environment.
A sauna can be helpful to almost everyone, regardless of age, on one condition: you must be able to use it correctly. By visiting the sauna, you can activate the blood flow, train (provided that there are no chronic diseases) the cardiovascular system, but the pressure remains normal. Due to the organic activation of metabolism, and “unnecessary” cholesterol is removed.
The bath is characterized by a temperature regime of up to +80 degrees Celsius and air humidity of up to 60%. In the bath, due to steam, high humidity is determined.
When the bath is ready and warmed up, it is necessary to add water to the stones to generate steam. In the bathhouse, it is characteristic that the movement of a person does not bring him discomfort and does not burn the body. The main advantage of the bath is birch or oak broom. Brooms have the medicinal properties of the trees from which they are made.
Treatment of certain diseases is associated with both procedures. In the old days, the bath was salvation from all ailments. But in the modern world, having studied the benefits and harms of the tub on the human body, doctors warn that baths are strictly prohibited for certain diseases. These include, for example, arterial hypertension (essential hypertension), varicose veins, a permanent form of atrial fibrillation, chronic cerebrovascular diseases, oncological diseases, myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and some other pathological conditions.
The benefit of warming up the body above 37.5 ° C is destroying pathogens that cannot live and reproduce at elevated temperatures. In addition, an increase in body temperature stimulates the immune system, which begins to produce protective antibodies actively in response to the introduction of infection.
Essential oils, depending on the composition used, ideally help to cope with respiratory diseases, help to relax, relieve stress, improve mood and general well-being.
The benefit of both the sauna and the bath is the opportunity to socialize and relax. Before visiting a bathhouse or sauna, determine if there are any contraindications, what are your preferences in this matter.
Which is better: A Bath or A Sauna?
Ultimately, the essence is the same: warm-up well, sweat, and, along with effort, expel toxins and toxins from the body. But in the bathhouse and sauna, it happens in different ways. A visit to the steam room, in any case, is a high-temperature load on the body. However, the temperature in a traditional bath is lower than in a sauna (about 70 degrees versus 100-110). And the humidity is, on the contrary, higher.
In the sauna, the humidity does not exceed 10%. Not everyone can withstand the impact of such dried and scalding hot air. Therefore, in the sauna, it is customary to sit quietly without unnecessary movements. You won’t need a broom here. And if you try to steam it, you can get a severe skin burn.
Dry scalding steam will not be helpful for people suffering from chronic diseases of the bronchopulmonary system. On the contrary, inhalation of low-humidified hot air can provoke, for example, an attack of suffocation in a patient with bronchial asthma. And it is not recommended for cores to visit the sauna; such high temperatures are unlikely to benefit them.
In an ordinary steam room, the air is quite humid, up to 70%. This moisture is achieved by exposing the heater directly to the water. It is customary to warm up well, sweat, and then splash water on the stones and take a steam bath in the bath. A broom is an effective massage tool that has a warming effect. Before use, it is thoroughly steamed with boiling water and insisted, the rods become soft and elastic.
There are several options for brooms; the most stimulating effect can be experienced with the help of juniper twigs. There is a feeling that many tiny needles are simultaneously digging into the body. However, this does not hurt at all, after which comes the feeling of heat spreading over the body. The immediate rush of blood to the skin contributes to increased sweating. The pores open, and the body is intensively cleansed of toxins. In a traditional steam room, people are on the move all the time.
Everyone is guided by their feelings while choosing between a sauna and a steam room. If they go to the sauna to warm up strongly once (it won’t be easy to endure the second time for a long time), then the steam room is a process for many hours. Take a good steam bath with a broom, cool down and drink tea and then go to the steam room – what could be more helpful?
The main thing is to follow specific rules. Firstly, people do not go to the bathhouse on a full stomach, and it is harmful. Secondly, alcohol must be excluded when visiting the steam room, which is a significant burden on the heart. Finally (and most importantly), you must enter the bath in a positive frame of mind since the steam room will be of immense value to you.
What is better, Bath or a Sauna?
Bath procedures have been considered a panacea for many ailments since ancient times. Doctors actively recommend that patients visit a steam bath for healing and hardening the body. In addition, historically, the bathhouse was a sacred place where children were given birth and baptized, met with friends, and had sincere conversations. In the bathhouse, it is still customary to carry out Christmas rituals.
In modern life, the sauna competes with the bath. What is the difference between these bath procedures? Why does someone prefer wet or dry steam? How does the body react to the sauna and steam bath? And which is better?
How Baths and Saunas were built
It should be noted that today in the Scandinavian countries, it is difficult to find a free-standing sauna design. Steam rooms are located in the bathroom of a cottage or apartment. Only in Finland has the tradition of building a bathhouse separately, on the shore of a reservoir, preserved. In addition, the similarity with the bath can be seen in the presence of a steam room, a room for ablution, and a place for rest. It is better than a beautiful view that opens up from the bath, which is pleasant to admire after the steam room.
The bath is traditionally a coniferous log house. The interior of our sauna is sheathed with alder, birch, or linden. All bath utensils and furniture are also made of wood.
The sauna is almost the same architecture. The main difference lies in the particular design of the sauna stove, which produces a dry high heat. Therefore, the sauna has low humidity and high temperatures.
Bath procedures can be “white” and “black.” The difference lies in the presence of exhaust pipes in the oven. The “white” bath is heated for three to four hours; the heat is created by splashing water on a hot stove. In the “black” bath, smoke fills the room and warms it up, gradually going into the hole in the wall. It takes a lot of firewood and more time to warm up in this way. The sauna was initially heated “in black.”
Today, wood-burning stoves have been replaced by modern electrical appliances so that a sauna can be installed in an apartment. Statistics show that every second apartment and house in Finland has a sauna. The Russians have not yet broken this record, but the bath, one way or another, is present in the life of almost every Russian.