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Published on March 20, 2018

towel and water bucket in sauna

#TryItTuesday: Steam Rooms, Sauna and Hot Tub, Oh My!

One of the best things about working out is a little pampering after my workout at the fitness center.

A few of the amenities at our gym include a steam room, sauna and hot tub. At first, taking an extra 10 to 15 minutes after I've already spent 30 to 45 minutes working out seemed self-indulgent. However, after noticing how much better I feel, it is 10 to 15 minutes well spent.  On today’s Try-It Tuesday, we’ll learn more about each of these, possible health benefits and safety precautions.

Steam Room

What is it?

Steam rooms are enclosed spaces that are heated with steam. The temperatures vary, but steam rooms are typically kept somewhere around 110°F.

How does it work?

Most steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. Some steam rooms will also add essential oil for possible health and antibacterial benefits.

Possible health benefits

  • Improves circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress
  • Clears congestions
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Muscle recovery after workouts
  • Loosens stiff joints
  • Burns calories
  • Boosts the immune system

My thoughts on the steam room

At first, the steam room was my least favorite, as I don't care for heat and humidity. However, after trying it consistently for two weeks, I love it. I always make sure I have a full bottle of water when I’m in the steam room, and because I easily dehydrate, I watch the clock to make sure I'm only in the room for 10 minutes.

Sauna                                                           

What is it?

A sauna is typically a room heated to between 158° to 212° F.

How does it work?

A sauna uses dry heat, usually from hot rocks or a closed stove.

Possible health benefits

  • Reduces muscle soreness
  • Improves joint movement
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Improves cardiovascular health

My thoughts on the sauna

When I started using the sauna consistently, I noticed a significant decrease in my bone pain. In addition to bringing in my drinking water, I like to bring in something to read. (One of the nice benefits of the dry heat versus the humid heat of the steam room.)

Hot Tub

What is it? 

A hot tub is a large tub or small pool full of water used for hydrotherapy, relaxation or pleasure. Most have powerful jets for massage purposes.

How does it work?

Hot tubs work with warm water and air mixing for a pressurized flow through jets.

Possible health benefits

  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Reduces arthritic and chronic pain
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Decreases tension headaches

My thoughts on the hot tub

I am most familiar with hot tubs, and they continue to be one of my favorite ways to relax. I love how the warm, bubbly jets message my back, hips and legs. 

Safety Tips:

  • Limit time to 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol use.
  • Leave the room if you are feeling lightheaded or unwell.
  • Contact your health care provider before use if you are pregnant, or have a health or heart condition.
  • Always practice good steam room hygiene by wearing flip-flops, sitting on a towel, and rinsing off with a lukewarm shower to get rid of bacteria after time in a steam room.
  • Drink plenty of water. It’s important to replace any fluid lost from sweating.
  • Avoid if you are ill.

Since I started using the hot tub, sauna or steam room, I've noticed an improvement in several areas of my life. Not only do I feel better physically, but I have also increased energy. My bone and muscle pain have significantly decreased, and this self-care pampering makes me feel happier! Being fit is so much more than just exercise and eating healthy – it's about taking care of the whole you!

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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