A steam room may be a place you go to relax and stretch your muscles after an intense workout. Or it may just be a nice escape from a hectic day. But, there is more to the steam room than meets the eye. In fact, in many countries around the world, a steam room is used for medicinal purposes. Many holistic doctors still tout the benefits of incorporating a steam room into your regime for health.

What can you expect in a steam room?

If you’ve never been in a steam room it can sound a little intimidating at first. A steam room is exactly how it sounds, a room filled with steam. The steam room will heat up to roughly 114 degrees and offer 100% humidity in the room. You will probably start sweating the second when the steam starts pouring in.

What should I wear in a steam room?

I use my fitness center’s steam room and almost every time I enter is someone dressed inappropriately in the room. I understand the need to be more modest in a public location, but you should never enter the steam room in full clothing, socks, and shoes. Wearing a light and breathable bathing suit or just a towel is preferred for a number of reasons which I will describe a little later. So when you enter the steam room, ditch your threads and opt for a towel, your skin will thank you later.

Steam room no-nos.

There are some things you should avoid if you want to get the most out of your steam room experience. Here are a list of things that you want to avoid when steaming.

  • Don’t go in without a shower. You will want to shower right before you get into the steam room. It may seem counterproductive, but this is a must if you want the benefits to your skin. Entering a steam room without showering and removing all debris from your body can mean you are actually allowing more dirt and grim into your pores. The steam is going to open your pores to allow toxins to flow from your body, but when you exit the steam room your pores will start to close. If you didn’t shower before hand, any dirt or oils on your skin will be absorbed into your skin.
  • Don’t wear heavy clothing. This will be incredibly uncomfortable, but it will also be bad to your skin because the dirt and oils from the clothing can cause the pores to clog.
  • Don’t go in if you are pregnant. This one goes without much saying, but do not go into a steam room if you are pregnant. The room will increase your body temperature too high for pregnancy.
  • Leave if you feel sick. If you start to feel faint or light-headed leave the steam room.
  • Don’t forget to bring water. You will be sweating a lot in the steam room. If you want to stay in for longer than 5 minutes, bring a bottle of water with you. Re-hydrating yourself is important. Drink while you steam to last longer.

Benefits of the Steam Room

Now that you know how to steam, here are some of the benefits you can expect to reap when you steam.

  • Removal of toxins and bacteria. The steam room will heat your body and induce sweating. This helsp the body release toxic buildup in the body as well as bacteria. 
  • Respiratory health. Improve your respiratory system by relaxing the lungs and increasing breathing. If you are feeling under the weather or have a cold, steam rooms are a great place for relief.
  • Circulation. Steam induces increased circulation. This will help blood move more quickly through the body and help overall circulation issues.
  • Muscle tension relief– If you have problem muscle areas, jump in the steam room and let the heat work wonders. The muscles will be heated and you can stretch them more easily. Stretch while in the steam room.
  • Skin health– More vibrant skin is a huge benefit of steaming frequently. Toxins will be removed from your pores and steaming can actually help hydrate your skin when done properly. For skin hydration, drink water while steaming and wash off all debris from your body (including sweat) before entering the steam room.
  • Illness fighting– Steam rooms are great places for illness prevention and for battling current illness. The steam room will increase the body temperature. This is a self-induced fever. Fevers are the body’s natural defense to infection and disease. Increasing your body temperature in the steam room can help the body fight off disease the same manner as a fever does.

Have you experienced the benefits of steaming?