Is The Steam Room Good For You?
Is it all hype, or is the steam room good for you? Are steam rooms actually beneficial to your workout and health? Many people believe the steam room is just a gimmicky amenity that allows gyms to charge extra money and rip off customers. They couldn’t be more wrong about that. Here are a few benefits of using the steam room, both before and after your workouts.
What we do know about heat therapy is that moist heat does improve circulation. While most people utilize a hot pack of some sort, the steam room encompasses the whole body in moist heat encouraging better circulation throughout the body, especially in the extremities. With improved circulation comes another huge benefit. As we exercise our muscles experience micro-trauma. Improving the circulation to the muscles after a workout has been shown to decrease recovery time, the more nutrients your muscles get the better they can recover. Furthermore, the moist heat helps “loosen” tight muscles and joints prior to exercise as well. The moist heat helps heat up the muscle and other tissues surrounding the joints, ensuring that they move with ease.
What about overall health? You’re not going to want to sit in a steam room if you have a fever. Your body has already spiked it’s internal temperature and adding in an external source of moist heat could put you in danger of heat-related illness. If you’re congested or are experiencing sinus issues, the steam room treatment has been shown in research to be more effective and safer than at home steam treatments.
The moist heat also stimulates the release of hormones that are beneficial to lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.
At the end of the day, the steam room is actually good for you as long as you take some precautions and exercise good hygiene by wearing flip flops and sitting on a towel as well as rinsing off afterward.