Benefits of using a steam room
You know that steam room you always pass by at your gym or spa that you never, ever use? Well, start using it. The wet heat from this room has many benefits that you're missing out on!
Let's start with the health pros of the steam room. Simply spending 10 minutes post-workout can help alleviate bodily stress, relax stiff muscles, and calm the mind. Think of it as a meditation that takes no effort (I also use long runs and yoga as meditation, but that takes a lot more work). Of course, the steam room also helps with those achy muscles you've been working out. The heat helps to relieve knots and tension along with increasing your body's blood flow.
In addition to the mind and body soothing perks the steam helps to alleviate symptoms of allergies, asthma, airway irritation, and sinus pressure. I suffer from Reactive Airway Disease (just a fancy way to say that I might have asthma) and allergies that are more annoying and uncomfortable than anything. The regular use of the steam room has helped to clear up my airway to allow for easier breathing, AND causes me to be less symptomatic throughout the day.
Now, to the aesthetically pleasing stuff. The steam room helps to cleanse the skin because of the increase in blood circulation. This helps to open up pores and can help prevent blemishes and skin dryness. The increase in circulation and sweating will also help to decrease inflammation of the skin (think eye puffiness, leg swelling, bloating). It's like a mini-makeover!
***What you should know BEFORE steaming...
- Read the rules and regulations of your gym or spa's steam room
-Of course, check with your doctor if you have any medical issues including, but not limited to, history of fainting, abnormal body temperature, chronically dehydrated, problems with sweating, heart disease, if you're pregnant, have kidney disease, on certain medications for CV disease, etc.
-Do not steam if you're not hydrated. You WILL lose water. The loss of water is temporary, but if you're not properly hydrated going in.... it's only going to harm you, not help you.
-Start in small increments. When I first started steaming I could only handle being in there for two minutes. Now I can comfortably hang out for 10 minutes. Listen to your body and start with a minute or two if you're not used to the temperature and work your way up... SLOWLY. Steam rooms are typically over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Never go into a steam room immediately after vigorous exercise. Wait unless your body has cooled down.
- Limit your max time to 10 minutes
Let me hear your opinions on steaming, and any benefits you're experienced!