How Steamy is your Future?
By Gareth Daniel
"Health" has become an increasingly used buzz word within the public eye - both that of our intricately balanced planet to our very own. Many fast food restaurants are fighting to keep a tight hold on public loyalty while levels of British obesity have quadrupled in the last 25 years. A recent £6m poll by Sport England, released in December 2006, found that half of the English population does no exercise or active recreation.
Whilst there is no substitute for healthy eating and regular exercise, steam shower enclosures are becoming increasingly popular as the bathrooms of the future try to cater towards better physical, mental and emotional health. A steam shower enclosure aims to do just that by bringing the benefits of a steam room into your own home. So what are the main benefits of upgrading to a steam shower enclosure?
The optimum temperature for a steam shower session is 43-46C. At these temperatures the body's metabolism increases to regulate its core temperature. This process results in the consumption of energy, which can have the net result of burning many hundred kilocalories, similar to a long run. Whilst rehydration will replenish most of the bodies lost weight with water, the energy lost can help weight control.
To regulate an increased body temperature, blood vessels near to the skins surface dilate to allow the escape of heat. To cope with the bodies' additional demand for blood at these extremities the heart increases its rate of blood flow. This process helps to flush out impurities that build up within the body whilst aiding in detoxification, metal excretion, cleansing and hydration of the skin. It has also been mentioned that this process can boost your immune system, promote antibody production whilst relieving inflammation and congestion. The body has a greater capacity to withstand the high temperatures associated with a steam room or sauna whilst other viruses may be suppressed or reduced at these temperatures.
After returning home from a long, tiring day in the office it is desirable to unwind and relax. A steam shower can do just that by combining music (from the radio or an external CD/MP3 player) with sequential body and foot jets to give your back that deserved massage. This cubical becomes a steamy oasis where the many showering and massage functions collide to invigorate the body.
Mental & Emotional Stimulation
You may be wondering how a shower could possibly aid your emotional state. In fact, a steam shower may come equipped with chromotherapy lighting where proponents believe that colours can bring about emotional reactions in people. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants that have known effects on the body or health. These essential oils can be added to a steam session helping to relax, stimulate, refresh, soothe, invigorate or perhaps help decrease inflammation and congestion in the body.
In the past, steam rooms were resigned to upper class health spas so many people have never experienced a steam session. With steam shower cubicles now becoming mainstream their prices and availability have become accessible and a very real alternative to replace an existing shower unit. A steam shower is a self enclosed cubicle so may have added benefits such as reducing substantial tiling costs.
Whilst the home spa facilities provided by a steam shower enclosure are becoming increasingly desirable, size limitations can become apparent in smaller bathrooms. Typically, these cubicles will be upward in size of 900mm x 900mm x 2150mm. Furthermore, other users may require an additional pressurised pump to generate the optimum water supply that is often approximately 2.5 bar.
This said, steam showers are quickly becoming an affordable luxury and desirable replacement to a standard shower and brings additional physical health, relaxation, mental and emotional benefits. Steam showering enclosures are here to stay, so how steamy is your future going to be?
About the Author
Dr Gareth Daniel is a writer in the field of Steam Shower cabins, Sauna Steam Rooms and their benefits. Dr Daniel also writes articles for Di Vapor Steam Showers.
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