Sauna or Steam Room? That Is the Question

Both Sauna and Steam Rooms have a number of benefits that are good for one’s health, but rather than focusing on which one is better one should focus on their own needs. In short, the individual will have to make up their own mind, after all, only they know themselves.

Saunas

The heat in a sauna causes the heart to beat faster, and the blood vessels will widen. This improves circulation, as blood can now move freely around the body without any resistance. This can also help with muscle soreness and improving arthritis conditions.

Studies provide evidence that men who use saunas are less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases or cardiac deaths.

Spending time in a sauna can help one lose calories, twenty minutes being the marker for weight loss of 500 calories. When in a sauna the body’s metabolism speeds up similarly to when actual exercise is done. If exercise isn’t a part of the daily routine, all the elements absorbed in the skin on a daily basis like lead, arsenic, and cadmium are still there deep inside the skin. By sweating in saunas, the human body flushes out all those toxins. The last and final benefit one could guess from saunas is that it relieves stress, because just like when you exercise, releases endorphins into your brain, endorphin reduces pain but in massive quantities is known to also reduce stress and anxiety.

Steam Rooms

Similar to saunas, having bath with steam can improve circulation, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and burn calories, though unlike saunas, staying inside steam rooms for more than fifteen minutes isn’t advised, as they lose water weight. Steam Rooms create an environment that warms the mucous membrane and encourages deep breathing. This breaks or clears up congestion inside the sinuses and lungs. Studies have shown that children with respiratory infections recovered faster when they used steam bath than those who didn’t use them. (Don’t use when feverish). Everyone knows that steam is good for the skin, but inside the room, the steam opens up the pores and rinses away any dirt and dead skin that typically result in breakouts. Continued use can result in clear and even-toned skin. Exposure to steam can also stimulate cells that fight off infection, making the individual more immune to illness.

Steam Rooms like saunas can help with sore muscles but more specifically it loosens stiff joints and can be used as a cheat warm-up for activities such as yoga, pilates, or running. Studies have also shown that steaming before exercise made the knee joints more flexible.

In Conclusion

Both Steam and Sauna Rooms are said to be dehydrating, they can help with exercise before or after but it should not be used as a substitute for exercise. Saunas can result in dry mouth, while it’s unhealthy to sit fifteen minutes or longer inside steam rooms, they are also more likely to host germs if cleaning is neglected. Nowadays germs are something, everyone, worries about, so getting an indoor steam/sauna room or DIY sauna kit is understandable. Saunas use dry heat, while Steam Rooms use steam from steam generators. So, in short, Saunas are for relaxation, heart and sore muscles or arthritis, meanwhile, Steam Rooms are for those with sinus/lung congestion or for those with skin issues. Always make sure to hydrate after using either one.

10 Signs That Your Diet is Doomed and How to Fix It

The A-Z trial: The real reason diets fail.

In this ground breaking study, 311 overweight women were recruited to follow one of the following popular diet programs: The Atkins Diet, The Zone Diet, the LEARN diet or the Ornish Diet. To start the study, each woman was given a copy of the popular diet book that she was randomly assigned to follow. Then, to make sure she was an “expert” on her program before she started dieting, each woman attended a series of 8 classes (each lasting an hour) explaining exactly how to follow her assigned diet.

(Side note- This just shows how “Obsessive Compulsive Eating” these diets are considering that it takes EIGHT classes for these women to know how to properly follow each diet!) After the courses were completed the women then set off to follow their assigned diet plan for a total of 1 year.

The results were pretty much exactly what I expected – everybody lost a lot of weight in the first two months, after that the diets tended to even out and by the end of the trial the weight loss was far from impressive – none of the groups averaged more than 10 pounds of weight loss after an entire year of dieting.

And while many people used this study to ‘prove’ that diets simply didn’t work, or that the body somehow adapted to dieting, my take was much simpler – Firstly, this trial is in agreement with most research that shows it is very hard to accurately measure how many calories a person eats in a day, and secondly I thought that these results showed that the number one reason diets fail is compliance.

In other words, the more complicated and the more rigid the diet is (or the more OCE it is), the more likely it is going to fail in the long term. – People just can’t stick to these types of diets for long periods of time.

Apparently I wasn’t alone with my analysis. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity titled “Dietary adherence and weight loss success among overweight women: results from the A to Z weight loss study” researchers re-examined the A to Z weight loss trial to see if there was an association between the level of compliance and the amount of weight that was lost.

Guess what they found? Astonishingly only ONE subject in the ENTIRE study followed the diet as directed for the whole 12 months. This means that every other subject was not following her assigned diet properly at some point during the research trial! The researchers also found that adherence was significantly correlated with 12-month weight change for all three-diet groups. So the better a woman was at following her diet, the more weight she lost.

The fact that adherence was so low is very interesting considering that these women spent eight class sessions reviewing their assigned diets with a registered dietitian before they even started the diet…you can imagine what adherence must be like for someone who simply bought one of those books, read it cover to cover and then gave it a try! The findings from this follow-up analysis also suggest that the difference in dietary macronutrients had only negligible effects on the participants weight loss success.

The bottom line is that you can generally figure out how successful a diet will be by looking at how complicated it is.

More rules = more complicated = low chance of success

Less rules = less complicated = high chance of success

In my opinion weight loss can be incredibly simple if you let it. Find the easiest, most comfortable way to reduce the total amount of calories that you eat. The less intrusive a diet is on your lifestyle the greater chance you have of sticking to it long term. For me, this is flexible intermittent fasting. After all if you can fast for 24 hours once, you know you will always be able to do it. Some fasts maybe harder or easier than others, but you know you can do it! Obsessive Compulsive Eating habits that make diets complicated and difficult spell doom for long term weight loss.

10 Signs a diet suffers from OCE:

1. It contains a list of foods you can and cannot eat

2. It lists specific times of every day that you are allowed or not allowed to eat

3. It contains specific diet plans that do not take into consideration your own personal food preferences

4. It lacks flexibility

5. It focuses on macronutrients and micronutrients excessively

6. If fails to point out the importance of long term compliance

7. It requires you to pre-pack and carry certain foods with you while you travel

8. It promotes certain foods because they PROMOTE weight loss

9. Over reliance of food Journal

10. Metabolic Typing

To learn more about how flexible intermittent fasting can produce lasting weight loss I suggest checking out the ebook Eat Stop Eat.