Steam room temperatures vary, but are typically around 110F. These enclosed spaces are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. Here are eight unique health benefits which come from the steam rooms humidity:
1. Improves Circulation
Sitting in a steam room can improve your cardiovascular health. It has shown to improve circulation, especially in individuals extremities. Improving your circulation can help promote the healing of broken skin tissue, lower your blood pressure, and promote a healthier heart.
2. Reduce Stress
If you’ve ever been in a steam room, you’ve probably found it extremely relaxing and calming. Cortisol, which is the hormone that regulates the level of stress you feel has been shown to decrease while being in a steam room. Spending some time steaming can help you focus, relax, and recover.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Some people release hormones in the steam room which changes their heart rate. One of which is called aldosterone, which regulates your blood pressure. When you’re sitting in the steam room and release this hormone it can help to lower high blood pressure in certain individuals. This is partially why you feel relaxed when you spend time in the steam room.
4. Clears Congestion
The steam room helps you break up congestion in your sinuses and lungs as the room warms up the mucous membrane and helps you breathe deeply. When you have a cold the steam room is a great therapy to help treat your sinus infection and the common cold.
5. Promotes Healthy Skin
Our skin is exposed to a lot of different toxins throughout the day which become trapped underneath our skin. The steam helps open up your pores while the warm condensation rinses the dirt and dead skin that leads to breakouts. You may start to see your skin become clearer as well as more evenly toned.
6. Burns Calories
Going into the steam room after an aerobic workout will keep your heart rate elevated, as your heart rate increases while being in the steam room. This will stimulate your body in ways that most exercise does not, while continuing to burn calories. This will not replace your cardio or help you to lose weight but it can make your diet and exercise more effective.
7. Helps with Workout Recovery
After you workout you may feel pain which is called delayed onset muscle soreness. The moist heat in the steam room helps to penetrate deep into your muscle tissue and relieve this muscle soreness.
8. Loosens Stiff Joints
Before you workout you should always warm up to avoid injury. Utilizing the steam room as part of your warm up could help you with your mobility during workouts such as yoga or running. When heat is applied to your joints they become more relaxed and more flexible preventing you from possible injury from stiff ligaments and/or joints.
If you have a steam room available to you at your gym try using it before or after your workout. Make sure you don’t stay in the room for longer than fifteen minutes as it can dehydrate you, and always consume a lot of water before and after you steam. The steam is also not hot enough to kill certain types of bacteria and the warmth can increase the amount of bacteria so make sure to always wear sandals, sit on a clean towel, and rinse your body off in the shower before and after you steam.