I want you to imagine that you’ve just completed your hour-long workout at the gym. You’re tired, sore, and drenched in sweat from head-to-toe. Now, imagine you’re walking back to the change room and there you see it–the steam room staring back you. Tempting you to get even stickier. Do you dare enter?
Now, I know that the thought of sitting in a hot, humid room for the next 20 minutes after a workout instead of hitting the showers is well, quite unappealing to say the least. And trust me, before I knew the benefits of steam rooms and saunas, I was exactly where you are right now –slightly hesitant. Alright, you caught me –very hesitant. It always confused me to see so many people hit the steam room after they worked out. I never understood why people would willingly subject themselves to such a humid environment and enjoy it.
So, one day I decided to stop criticizing people from afar and conduct my research to see if there were any valuable benefits to steam rooms. Maybe I was missing something that could potentially be rewarding to my health. Let me tell you, I was shocked to see so many advantages steam rooms provide.
Steam rooms at geothermal spas are even better experience so visit Villa Medical Spa or Bania in Poland, Dream Island Spa in Yoav, Israel, take that trip to Iceland or France, where the spring water is used to create the steam and you can benefit from mineral inhalation or salt walls, saline waters where vapour not only is relaxing but provides relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchis, common cold as well as offering relief from inflammatory skin conditions for example eczema. In my book “The Power of Minerals, Healing Spas of Europe” I offer you a flavour of these and more in depth information on benefits of geothermal waters.
If you’re as intrigued and skeptical as I was months ago, then keep reading because I promise you, the benefits alone will make you enjoy the heat blistering heat—even for a couple of minutes.
As promised, the use of steam rooms has many health benefits on your body.
One of the most obvious benefits of steam rooms is that it aids in your post-workout recovery “loosen up stiff joints and sore, aching muscles by bathing them in heat.” Health experts state that it’s extremely important to relax your muscles immediately after a workout to promote a quick recovery. When you apply heat to the body, the heat calms your nerve endings resulting in muscle relaxation.
Another extremely important benefit of steam rooms in that it aids in reducing stress. The temperature of the steam room causes your body to release endorphins, which are your body’s natural ‘feel-good’ hormones. Steam rooms also promote the reduction of cortisol levels within the body. For those of you who don’t know, cortisol is a stress hormone. When this hormone is reduced, and your endorphins increased it is easy for the body to begin feeling renewed and energized—just like going to a spa!
After you’ve completed your workout, your body is still burning calories as it works to bring your heart rate and breathing back to normal. Sitting in a steam room naturally increases your heart rate. Heath experts say that this, “alongside a healthy exercise program…and the sweating it causes can stimulate the body and increase wellness.”
Clear Your Sinuses
People have been using steam, and steam rooms to open up and clear the airways. The heat of the steam room “opens up the mucous membranes around the body,” and thus, sitting in a steam room, even for five minutes can provide relief to those who are having difficulty breathing due to congestion in the sinuses and lungs.
Wait, there’s more? Yes, there is –you know I wouldn’t let you down!
Clears Your Pores
Just as you would with an at-home facial or at a spa, steam aids by opening up your pores to allow your skin to remove any impurities that may be hiding within your pores—all over your body. I promise you that after you leave the steam room your complexation is going to glow for days afterward.
Essential for Detoxing
As we know, sweating is a natural way of extracting toxins from your body. Therefore, using a steam room regularly can help speed up your body’s detoxification process—leaving you feeling energised and healthy.
Are There Any Risks When Using Steam Rooms?
Like all things, there are potential health risks when using steam rooms. One of the obvious and most prevalent hazards is that it causes extreme dehydration and dizziness. Due to the intense heat, it is quite common for people to experience lightheadedness whilst in this type of environment –especially if you are using the steam room after a workout. Because you’re most likely already dehydrated from your work out, you must drink lots of water while whilst in the steam room. As your body excessively sweats, it’s important to nourish it with water, to replenish the hydration that is rapidly leaving your body. Make sure to bring in a cold bottle of water to avoid this.
Equally as risky is the thickness of the air within the steam room. As the temperature rises, the air within an environment becomes tremendously humid. This can cause you to begin breathing heavily. This, in addition to being dehydrated, can again cause you to become dizzy. If you have any pre-existing health risks such as asthma, it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor to determine the unique risks that you may have. Regardless of this, if you begin feeling light-headed exit the steam room immediately with caution to avoid fainting. Don’t forget to hydrate before and after.
When Should You Use A Steam Room?
Like I said before, the benefits of steam rooms are often best used once you’ve completed your workout. Health experts recommend spending anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. Remember to start with only a couple minutes to test how your body reacts to the heat. After a couple of sessions, you can then work your way up if you find yourself adjusting well. Again, everyone is different, so base your time spent in the steam room off of your own experiences.
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