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Use a Steam Room at the Gym the Right Way

The steam room at the gym is not just a place to relax; it offers numerous benefits both before and after a workout. There is, however, a right and a wrong way to use a steam room, and not following the proper etiquette can ruin what would otherwise be a pleasant steam session. 

How to Use a Steam Room at the Gym 

To get the most out of the steam room at your gym, you should incorporate these tips: 

1. Avoid Dehydration

Because a steam shower promotes healthy sweating, it is possible to become dehydrated during your steam. Be sure to hydrate beforehand and have water nearby to maintain hydration. You should drink plenty of water before and after a steam room session to replenish fluids lost through the skin. Stay away from alcohol pre- and post-steam to prevent further dehydration. 

Also, avoid eating at least an hour before hitting the steam shower so your body won't have to work to digest a large meal. Blood flow redirects to the skin's surface when your body temperature rises during a steam bath. That means using the steam room right after eating can negatively affect digestion.  

2. Take a Regular Shower

As a matter of hygiene and decorum, you want to go into the steam room with a clean body. Shower with a natural soap or body wash, rinse off thoroughly, and don't apply anything to your skin before steaming. That way, nothing will get between your skin and the steam. 

The regular shower does not have to be excessively hot or cold, just whatever is comfortable. 

3. Attire Yourself Properly

Some public steam rooms allow nudity, while others require clothing. Guidelines on what to wear usually suggest a towel, at least. Bathing suits made of PVC or that have dangling metal on them can have harmful consequences if they get too hot. Loose-fitting cotton shorts, t-shirts, and bras absorb excess heat waves and allow the skin to breathe properly.  

Never enter a steam room wearing the shoes you wear outdoors. A pair of flip-flops or sandals used only in the steam shower is best for not tracking in street dirt and unwanted bacteria.  

4. Keep an Eye on the Clock

It is essential to remain aware of how long you are in the steam room. Begin with a 5- to 10-minute session to give your body time to breakout into a full sweat. If you are not comfortable after five minutes, leave. As your tolerance for heat rises, you can increase the time, but listen to your body's signals. 

With steam room experience, a good cutoff time is between 15 and 20 minutes.  

5. Master the Cooldown

Just like preparation is required before getting into a steam bath, what you do after getting out of it can make a difference in the physical and mental health benefits gained. 

To cool down properly, you should: 

  • Drink a minimum of eight ounces of water. 
  • Take a shower or bath.  
  • Moisturize your skin. 
  • Stretch your muscles. 
  • Enjoy a cup of herbal tea with antioxidants. 
  • Meditate. 
  • Sleep

Steam therapy is an important part of an overall wellness routine. 


Why Use a Steam Room Before and After a Workout? 

The health benefits of a steam room extend beyond relaxation. Steam may help improve circulation, ease sinus congestion, and increase metabolism.  

The Health Benefits of Pre-Workout Steaming 

Steam can help boost wellness and fitness when used before a workout. A pre-workout steam session may: 

Time in the steam room pre-workout may help you get the most from an exercise session. This is also an excellent way to prepare for a hike. 

The Health Benefits of Post-Workout Steaming 

After a workout, the steam room is a great place to unwind and loosen up strained muscles and stiff joints. A good steam bath may help to improve muscle regrowth and lessen oxidative stress. Steam may reduce lactic acid buildup by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood into your cells. This may remove carbon dioxide from the body, lowering blood pressure and signaling the heart to pump faster. 


Why Gym Owners Love Steam Rooms 

Aside from the wellness benefits, gym owners love steam rooms because they help create a competitive edge for their businesses. Beyond that, steam rooms encourage users to push their workouts to the maximum and make the gym addictive. Physical therapists recommend steam therapy because steam can soothe nerve endings, warm up the muscles, and release body tension, regardless of how stress manifests itself. 

While increasing patient wellness, steam rooms help to create a sense of community at the gym. That sense of community means increased client retention. When that is combined with the unique attraction that a steam room holds for gym goers, the result is an improved bottom line. It’s a win-win for gym owners and gymgoers alike. 

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Topics: Benefits of Steam, Health & Wellness, Sports, Performance, & Fitness