Steam Rooms After a Workout
Exercise and working out are important aspects of keeping fit and staying healthy. However, regular and rigorous workouts can be tiring, as well as leaving you aching and sore. This means that, holistically, recovery can be as important as the exercise itself; in order to maximize the efficiency of your recovery, action needs to be taken straight away. Whilst, there are several different things you can do in this regard, like using supplements, massage, and eating the right foods, we are going to be focusing on the benefits of post-workout steam room use.
First and foremost, the use of a steam room reduces tension and fatigue in your muscles; alongside this, it also lowers mental fatigue and stress. Being in a steam room raises your body temperature causing your blood vessels to dilate (widen). Dilation of your blood vessels results in improved blood flow around your body. This, in turn, means muscles have a more plentiful supply of oxygen and nutrients, aiding in muscular repair. It also aids in the faster removal of waste products from intensely worked muscles, as well as immune response cells. These white blood cells are needed to break down other irreparable cells (and their waste) but can damage healthy cells if present for an extended period.
In addition to easing soreness and improving recovery rate, using a steam room increases your body’s metabolism. Again, this is a natural exaction to the raising of your body temperature. Upon the completion of exercise, your body’s metabolic rate is heightened for the next few hours. This means that, on a whole, you burn energy (calories) faster in a resting state than you normally would. A post-workout steam room session can extend the length of time that your metabolism remains in this heightened condition. This maximizes the effectiveness of your metabolic boost and is especially useful if the goal of your exercising is to lose weight.
For those of you who exercise in cold weather, particularly relevant at this time of year, using a steam room may have some benefits that you may not have considered. Steam rooms help to reduce congestion and relieve coughing, negative results of exercise that are not unheard of (particularly during winter). Throat irritation, or a ‘burning’ sensation, is also a relatively common occurrence. However, contrary to popular belief this is not a result of the air being cold, it is actually due to a poor level of hydration. Using a steam room also helps to alleviate this undesirable, and uncomfortable, side-effect. This is down to the level of moisture in the air of steam rooms, and the resulting rehydration of parched dried skin in the throat. These deleterious symptoms will be rather familiar to those of you with asthma, meaning post-exercise use of a steam room is highly recommended.
Steam rooms’ most widely touted benefit is that they assist in your body’s detoxification process. Now whilst this is true, using a steam room is not going to rid your body of all toxins present. A steam room will help eliminate trace elements (less than 1%) of toxins from your body. However, a steam room session does significantly aid in the detoxification of the skin, and cleanse it of impurities. Sweating is one of your body’s natural methods for purging itself of toxicants, during exercise sweating is the body’s way of cooling down; as such toxins are forced out of the body, but build up on the skin as it dries. The heat and humidity of a steam room do not allow sweat to dry, effectively completing the cleansing of your skin. This also results in the rehydration of the skin, and can help to ameliorate any dermatologic issues you may have.
Finally, the use of steam rooms induces hyperthermia via the raising of your body temperature. Hyperthermia is an effective method of killing off any foreign bodies or organisms that may be present in your body; as they cannot survive at these heightened temperatures. For example, when you have a fever your body raises its temperature in order to fight the infection. We have already touched on the autoimmune response triggered by exercise, meaning the body is already ‘fighting’ to be as healthy as possible. So using a steam room after working out will reduce your chances of falling ill, even though it does not eliminate the presence of all foreign bodies.
This post was offered by Sam Socorro from Sensual Spas. Sam is an expert writer in the health and fitness niche and has been writing and studying topics like this one for over 10 years.