Let’s Get Steamy!

I don’t know if I have mentioned on here that I had joined a gym around October. I was really into it for the first two weeks taking Zumba, Kick-Boxing, Yoga and even have a whole schedule of what I will be doing per week! Sadly, that stopped after two weeks and in the past two months, I did not step into one class. When winter comes, my motivation goes out the window, because all I want to do is cozy up at home and stay warm. However, I was determined to go again yesterday, after feeling some tightness around my waist, which is a great indication that I’ve gained some weight – haha. I went to do Yoga, then afterwards tried out the gym’s steam room. The steam room was something that I’ve been considering the past week due to its benefits and here are some listed below:


First and foremost, I like to point out that there are misconceptions that steam rooms and saunas alone will help you lose weight faster, because they both make you sweat. However, what you need to keep in mind is that you only lose water weight rather than fat during a session. You will gain most of it back when you drink water to replenish your fluids. You’d definitely want to couple it with cardiovascular activity & a healthy diet to lose weight the correct way.

However, steam bathing does have a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system. The pulse rate will increase within short period. This increases blood circulation, since the heat causes the blood vessels in the skin to expand, accommodating the increased blood flow. Increased cardiac output and the cooling process make the body use its energy resources and therefore making your heart rate increases. So, your heart is the only muscles working hard. While the heart is an important muscle, physical activity such as jogging, swimming or toning is usually the better choice. These physical activities make your muscles grow and muscle tissue burns energy even while you rest.

Another great benefit for steam-bathing is your immune system and lymph detoxification. The lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system, affects every organ and cell in your body. Two body fluids, blood and lymph, carry waste material away from your body’s cells and steam bathing helps enhance lymph system cleansing. Your immune system helps defend your body against bacterias, viruses and toxins.

The heat in a steam room benefits your immune system by inducing an artificial fever. It works with a process called hyperthermia, which induces a fever in the body. When the body’s temperature reaches 101 to 103 degrees F, the immune system gets alerted and creates an artificial fever. Pathogens and toxins cannot stand high temperatures and start to exit the body. During this time, the body’s pulse rate increases resulting in a rise in blood circulation. However, blood pressure remains stable since heat causes blood vessels to expand and widens air passageways of lungs, which aid in breathing.

Last benefit, and my favorite, is that it’s great hydration for your skin. Winter can wreck havoc to your skin causing it to dry. A good humidifier is wonderful for the room to add moisture to the air, but a steam bath is great for hydrating your whole body leaving it glowy after a session. This is also the reason why I’d prefer a steam bath vs a sauna. You don’t want to dry out your skin even more so during winter. Also, it is perfectly normal to have your skin break out a little, because toxins are being released through your pores. Just exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize as usual and your skin will be fully hydrated and good to go.

So to summarize, steam-bathing benefits range from muscle relaxation to skin purification. It relieves muscle tension and stiff joints; improved immune system functioning; lymph detoxification; improved blood circulation; relief from sinus congestion; reduced stress; raised metabolism; improved complexion; alleviate sports injury pain; ease cold symptoms; and purify and detoxify the skin and body for a smooth hydrating effect.

However, before you go and jump into a steam bath, there is a right way to taking one. First, drink a glass of water before entering which will help keep you hydrated during the excessive sweating. Make sure you take a
warm shower before entering, this will promote faster sweating. Do not
exceed 15 to 20 minutes per session, and make sure you completely cool
off before starting another session. Neglecting to completely cool down
could wear down your circulation system. Also I wore a bathing suit to go in my first time, but apparently that can restrict blood flow so wear a towel when you go in. Some ppl like to go in au naturalle but that’s not me – haha.

CAUTION:
Since the temperatures in steam baths are generally between 110 and 116 degrees F with 100 percent humidity, caution should be exercised when using these rooms. Most importantly, do not use a steam bath without a doctor’s consent if you suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. Steam baths are not recommended for pregnant women, small children or the elderly.

This was a very informative post, but I hope it opens your eyes to steam bathing! =)I have to say I was more relaxed after a session and my muscles don’t ache like they normally would when I haven’t gone to the gym in awhile. I also slept like a baby last night and went to bed at 11pm, which is definitely earlier than my normal schedule. =P So I will be making steam-bathing a weekly thing if time permits. =)

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Comments

  1. My OH LOVES steam. Me, I love hot tubs!

  2. Thanks for the tips on steam rooms! I had used them when I was in Taiwan, and it’s really relaxing! 🙂

  3. that;s totally true what you said about the water weight coming off and being gained right back! i just like to go into steam rooms and saunas for relaxing 🙂 it feels so good after a long tiring day! xx

  4. yes, it’s def relaxing! =D

  5. I completely love your informative posts. I learn something every time! Thank you for this!