Soon winter will be here, and with it comes the endless days of sniffling and coughing due to common colds. But there is hope!
Soon winter will be here, and with it comes the endless days of sniffling and coughing due to common colds. But there is hope! Regular steam showers are not only soothing once you’ve caught that cold - they can even a prophylactic effect that may prevent you from catching it in the first place.
The cold winter weather tends to lower the body’s resistance when it comes to fighting viruses and bacteria. That’s when we are exposed to germs, we are more easily infected. Still, there are several ways to lower the risks of getting ill. Eating healthily, sleeping enough and disinfecting shared areas like kitchens and bathrooms are a good start. However, these are health strategies that most people are aware of. What you might not be aware of, is that the regular use of heat therapy in the form of sauna bathing or steam showers can significantly reduce the risk of catching a cold.
Reduction of symptoms
When you catch a cold, you can often experience respiratory problems like coughing, and nasal congestion. The dry, cold winter air can make this worse, whereas the humid heat of steam shower often provides a great remedy for these symptoms. Stuffy noses, mucus, sneezing and swollen sinuses are other symptoms that can be relieved through the use of steam showers. Steam can also offer the body relief from pains and aches that often follow from common colds.
Muscles that are tired and sore get to relax and recover in the gentle heat of a steam shower. The steam provides a milder warmth than regular saunas, that often feel more comfortable when you have a cold. It will boost your blood circulation and leave you feeling invigorated and refreshed.
If your steam provides aromatherapy - all the better! Scents that are known for reducing symptoms of colds are, among others, peppermint, eucalyptus and Increase the temperature
A powerful prevention routine
There is currently no actual treatment for common cold viruses. Once the cold is a fact, all we can do is try to alleviate the annoying symptoms while waiting to recover. But, don’t despair: research shows that regular sauna bathing significantly reduces the risk of actually developing the infection. In the article ”Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds”, an Austrian research team shows this connection.
The Austrian study was carried out with volunteer participants divided into two groups. One group was instructed to completely refrain from sauna bathing, while the other group was asked to bath for a long time and often. Both groups were monitored for six months by the researchers, who concluded that the group taking frequent sauna baths suffered only half as often from colds compared to the control group.
Exactly why sauna bathing seems to prevent colds is still not fully clarified. One theory is that sauna bathing affects the body in the same way a fever does, and thus seems both healing and preventive when the cold virus is trying to establish itself in the body