When you have the leg day shakes after a hard workout at the gym, you may just want to hang out a while and relax before heading back home. Enter, the steam room. The perfect place for relaxation, stress relief , muscle recovery, and so much more. But what exactly are the benefits of steam room after workout? We’ll break down what you should know about the benefits of a sauna session for workout recovery below.
Proper Sauna Room Use
The sauna or steam room can be found in many gyms these days with many benefits for sore muscles and recovery. But To fully enjoy the many steam room benefits, let’s first go over how to use a steam room.
- Stay hydrated. It’s best to have had water before entering the steam room and to have it available to sip during your steam room relaxation time. The best way to avoid dehydration is to drink small amounts of water continuously before you even feel thirsty.
- Shower first! Make sure you rinse off after working out to wash off any sweat and dirt from your skin. Enter the steam or sauna room only after you are clean and dry. This helps your skin absorb moisture and will increase the steam room benefits you receive!
- Keep it short! Stay in the steam shower for shorter periods of time (10-15 minutes) with a break in between sessions. Let your body cool off and boost your blood circulation with a cold shower when you’re done!
You are now ready to enjoy all the benefits of using a steam room. Here are 7 of those benefits you will want to cash in on the next time you are at the gym.
1 | Skin Detoxification
One of the many benefits of steam room after workout is skin detoxification. If you have been to a spa, you know that one of the most popular forms of a facial involve steam. Steam is known to open up your pores and loosen up any dirt that may be clogged in them making a steam room useful for skin detoxification. While your skin is detoxifying, the steam is also adding moisture to your skin which is perfect for all of us who need a little extra glow. To get the most out of your steam room experience, rinse off after your session and apply a moisturizer or serum. Your open pores will allow for better moisturization and will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
2 | Improved Circulation
Steam therapy in the sauna is not only for muscle recovery but also for overall improved blood circulation. You may have poor circulation if you notice that your hands and feet are always cold, if you have muscle cramps, or if you have achy muscles in general. For all of us, it is essential to keep our blood circulation running well. You can do that by being physically active, and by visiting the steam room after your workout. When your blood vessels are introduced to heat, they tend to open up, allowing for an easier pathway for your blood to travel through your body supplying you with everything you need. This will, in turn, help you to heal from a tough workout much faster due to the oxygen getting to where it needs to be.
3 | Breathe Better
Every exercise you complete requires you to breathe. We have talked extensively about the power of breath to avoid injury, and provide a sense of stillness in your life. But, if you are one of the many of us who suffers from asthma, allergies, or even the occasional stuffy nose, these things could hinder the process. The steam room warms up your mucous membrane and can help clear up congestion in your nasal passages and lungs. As you continue your fitness journey, adding the steam room to your routine may help you to breathe better, which can make you push further and is just simply better for you overall.
4 | Soothe Muscle Soreness
When one thinks of the steam room or sauna use, they’re usually looking to use it to recover their sore muscles. Think of the steam room like a nice warm blanket over your sore muscles. The heat in the steam room will help your muscles to relax, which, as with recovery days and proper stretching, will get you healed up, and ready to take on another workout in no time!
5 | Relaxation Station
We call our traditional sauna and steam room the “Relaxation Station” for a reason. It is a place for you to come in, relax, and get away from everyday stresses in life and enjoy the health benefits of the heated room after your workout. Though exercise is definitely a fantastic stress reliever, sometimes you just need to do absolutely nothing. It is good for your mental and physical health. Coming into the heated room and allowing your entire body and all of your muscles to relax could even put you into a meditative state which is why some people are advocates for this therapy. Try it out and see for yourself!
6 | Weightloss
This is the one everyone wants to hear about, “Can I lose weight from sweating in a steam room?” The short answer is – yes. But, as with the traditional sauna, you should know that most of that will be water weight. So, it will come back as soon as you drink or eat again, which should be soon. You know the rule! Hydrate before, during, and after every session. But, hey, though temporary, weightloss sounds pretty good anyway.
7 | Burn Excess Calories
In about 30 minutes, the average person burns about 100 calories on the weight floor at the gym. Some gym sessions, like HIIT, could even have you scorching upwards of 1,000. But, did you know that adding the steam room after you work out can continue that hard work for you almost on cruise control? When you are in the steam room, your heart rate is elevated. Your body is working hard to remain at its core temperature because it is being heated from the outside. So, if you head to the steam room after a workout where your heart rate is already pumping (after you hydrate, of course), you could prolong your heart rate elevation. This, in turn, burns even more calories. Some studies say up to 20% more!
As with anything at the gym, listen to your body. If you feel like you are getting too hot in the steam room, step out, rehydrate, and recover. Always make sure to stay hydrated when using the steam rooms, saunas, or just working out in general.
If you have been considering adding the steam room to your workout routine, check out our clubs with steam rooms below!
Carlsbad, Escondido, Santee, Mission Valley, Rancho Bernardo, National City, Chula Vista, Cypress, Garden Grove, Rialto, Fullerton, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Anaheim, Cudahy, San Bernardino.
Grant & Craycroft (Coming Soon), Ajo & 16th, Tucson Mall.
Broomfield, South Monaco, Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster.
Winrock Town Center (Coming Soon).
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at KLBFit and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- Brennan, Dan. “Health Benefits of Steam Rooms.” WebMD. 25 October, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/balance/health-benefits-of-steam-rooms
- Watson. Kathryn. “Steam Room Benefits for Your Health.” Healthline. Updated 28 June, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/health/steam-room-benefits
- Johnson, Jon. “What are the benefits of a steam room.” Medical News Today. 15 December, 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320314
- Champion, Linsay. “7 Steam Room Benefits That’ll Make You Want to Hit the Spa.” Pure Wow. 26 August, 2020. https://www.purewow.com/wellness/steam-room-benefits