Lately I have been finding myself hitting the Steam Room after a couple workouts a week. I have been loving my few minutes of alone time in the steam room after a workout and it got me thinking “What are the actual health benefits of the steam room”
I mean there HAS to be some scientific evidence behind the steam room as they are in almost every gym locker room I’ve ever been to and people seem to swarm to them. But beyond sinus congestion relief and it “feeling good” I wasn’t sure if there was anything behind the sweat box I often find myself retreating to. So I did a quick Google Search, super scientific all those evidence-based practice courses I took in PT school are paying off, and found a good amount of articles stating health benefits of the steam room & sauna. And since I wasn’t really sure about them, and wanted to save you the Google search, I thought I would share them here for all of us!
- Relieves Tension and Stress
Sitting in the steam room for a few minutes can help relax tense muscles by soothing your nerve endings and warming up your muscles, according to an article on Health Fitness Revolution. This can help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness along with releasing endorphins.
- Clears Skin & Sinuses
The heat causes your body to literally warm up which opens pores and helps clear out any impurities. Additionally this heat moistens and thins the mucous membranes which helps to reduce congestion related to sinus infections.
- Removes Toxins
According to a Bodybuilding.com article, the steam room will put your body in a “Hypertermia” state which is essentially tricking your body into feeling as though it was ill. This has been proven successful in killing off invading organisms as they are not able to live & thrive in higher than normal temperatures.
- Aids in Weight loss
The hypertermic element of the steam room has been proven successful in removing fat stored toxins from the body. Additionally the steam makes you sweat and remove some water weight.
- Treats & Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The heat stress from the steam room can help to remove calcium deposits in blood vessels and break down scar tissue from the vessel walls which contribute to heart disease. You are also dilating your blood vessels and capillaries resulting in improved ability for oxygen transport throughout the body.
THE BEST PART! It feels good. Being able to relax in a warm, soothing environment helps promote healthy muscle recovery and heat up to repair the muscles that you just worked.
Bodybuilding.com also had a quick list of different health benefits that I thought was a really nice reference.
Most steam rooms have a recommendation of 20minutes spent in the room at a time. I don’t usually last more than 15 because I get bored and fidgety, and there isn’t a clock so I never really know how long I’ve been sweating. But if you are someone who CAN relax in one for a long period of time I would recommend watching the clock and not going much beyond 20minutes. This is because when your body temperature rises above 102-103 degrees you are at risk of causing protein denaturing (essentially decomposition) not only in your muscles but more importantly in your brain. Similar to when you have a really high fever or are in a hot tub for too long. SO just my words of caution & disclaimer.
So there you have it, the super scientific health benefits of using the steam room.
Enjoy & sweat it out!