With healthy living tips for summer, and great advice on fitting steam therapy into your morning wellness routine, Lauren Rippy, Director of Training for The Labs, USA has solid advice on all things fitness. She is next up in our #trainertellsall series.
Sleep, Hydrate and Steam Therapy
“Everyone wants to talk about eating clean, but for me there are two key things I tell all my athletes.
Number one: sleep, sleep, sleep! Without sleep, your body can’t recover no matter how hard you work out in a gym.
Number two: Hydrate! Especially in the summer, when you’re on the go. People forget and it’s so important. Every cell in your body needs water to function,” says Lauren.
Lauren’s playground is a new 22,000 square foot facility in Aurora, Illinois that offers land and swim training to triathletes and general fitness enthusiasts alike. Many of her clients leverage unique training operations, including six warm-water flow pools equipped with underwater video cameras, a lap pool, 24 functional fitness stations, a stationary bike studio, plus indoor and outdoor running tracks.
Despite all the high-tech equipment and training techniques available at her facility, though, Lauren says that at its core, The Labs, USA offers health and fitness training:
“It’s kind of like adults coming to a playground to workout with a personal coach in a group setting. It’s actually really fun!”
In addition to being the Director of Training at The Labs, USA and founder of RipFit, Inc, a strength training protocol for endurance and performance athletes, Lauren is an advocate for the use of steam as part of an athlete’s training program.
SteamTherapy Before, SteamTherapy After
“There are so many benefits to using steamtherapy on a consistent basis,” says Lauren. “If used after a workout, a steam shower can aid recovery by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to fatigued muscles. This allows more oxygen to get to any soft tissue injuries and sore muscles, which reduces pain and speeds up the recovery process.”
Steam can even be used in instances where massaging sore muscles might be too aggressive. “If there’s an athlete who’s very sensitive to touch, they can’t enjoy the benefit of deep tissue massage because it can be too painful. Even foam rolling can be too much. Steam, on the other hand, is completely non-invasive and causes no pain. It can be the perfect solution to get athletes where they need to be, and have those muscles loosen up and begin to heal,” explains Lauren.
Steam is also beneficial before a workout. “You can steam before a heavy lifting session too. Again, it increases blood flow, but in this scenario that increased blood flow gives you increased strength to get more out of your lift.
SteamTherapy In Between!
Lauren points out that steam is not just for pre- and post- workouts, however. She also appreciates the many additional benefits of steam as part of a complete natural health routine. “There are just so many advantages to steam – detoxification, stress reduction, relief of joint and muscle pain, and it also boosts the immune system.” How, you might be wondering, does steam aid your immune system?
Lauren explains it like this:
“Steam increases your core temperature, tricking the body into thinking it has an artificial ‘fever.’ As a result, white blood cell production is increased. These white blood cells are the primary agents of the immune system, and serve to keep us healthy.”
As busy as she is, Lauren especially appreciates this last benefit, adding,
“For myself, with the crazy schedule of a personal trainer, up at 3:00 a.m. and here all day, I get fatigued a lot. So I use steam to keep my immune system healthy. I don’t always have time to get the workout in that I want -- because clients come first -- so I try to use anything to stay healthy and recover faster so I can get my next lift in.”
With summer right around the corner, this advice bears remembering when planning your wellness routine. After all, it’s advice that even amateur fitness buffs can follow – sleep and drink water. And don’t forget steamtherapy whenever possible in your own wellness retreat or where you workout!