As the cold weather takes over Michigan, there’s nothing I enjoy more than relaxing quietly in the steam room of the gym after a tough workout. Not only are there numerous health benefits, but it’s just plain relaxing for my mind and body. It is instant warmth and comfort- right down to my bones- when I walk in. In the middle of a snowy winter, I can leave the steam room and the gym, making it all the way home still feeling that cozy warmth.
I only stay in the steam room for about 10-15 minutes, but that is plenty enough time to close my eyes, reflect on the day, breathe deep, and sweat profusely (yes, this is one of the healthy parts!). It is a perfectly calm, quiet escape from my cell phone and seemingly fast-paced life.
Unlike a sauna using dry heat, a steam room offers a very humid, gentle heat and often times I can’t even see through the thick mist further than an arm’s reach. I don’t use a timer for the steam room- my body tells me when it’s time to get out. When the steam suddenly starts to feel truly hot instead of comfortably warm, it’s time to go.
As I mentioned before, there are many benefits to spending some time in a steam room, such as those listed below:
- Opens pores to assist detoxification through profuse sweating
- Provides hydration to the skin (it is excellent for the complexion)
- Increases metabolism, heart rate, and blood circulation
- Gives the immune system a boost by creating an environment (fever) where a virus may not be able to sustain
- Helps to relieve allergies and asthma by opening up airways and supporting the respiratory system
- Relieves congestion
- Relaxes muscles and reducing their tension
- May provide relief of arthritis
If you have extra time to relax in a steam room, even if only once a week, I highly recommend it for the many benefits and for the mental relaxation it provides. It’s a good time to rejuvenate and reflect while doing a favor for your body.
Make sure to be aware of how long you stay in the steam room- there is the potential for overheating, faintness, etc. Bring a buddy if you feel more comfortable having someone with you.