Sauna and Steam room use

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Smitfire, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    So I've just joined a new gym and they have a sauna and steam room.
    And I realised the other day I've no idea how to properly use them.
    Is there any advice on the "right" way to use each one? Is the sauna for one thing and the steam room another?
    Is it just "sit in a hot room for 10 minutes"? I imagine there's probably a lot of unsubstantiated claims made for all sorts of health benefits?
    In the past I've used them before swimming so you get a bit of hot/cold shock going on. No idea if that's a good idea though.
     
  2. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Go in. Sit in it.
    I keep my swim trunks on.

    Try not to manspread.
     
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  3. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    I find the steam room great for my chest, without access to one I use hot water in a sink, but without asthma in not sure if other benefits.

    I think the Sauna falls under the hot cold type treatments which help deal with inflammation, some people react better to cold or hot, I used it often after lifting.
     
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  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Ah...now I know how I've been going wrong. :)
     
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  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Steam room is good for lungs.

    Sauna is good for just sweating it out. The higher you sit, the hotter it is.

    There is indeed lots of claimed benefits to sitting in saunas and steam rooms. Best to look them up and decide for yourself.
     
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  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Great for skin exfoliating. Jump out of the sauna, then scrub your skin silly in the shower straight away. You'll be grossed out with how much dead skin is on you.
     
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  7. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Wow! I'll give it a go soon!
     
  8. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    The health club I go to has a sauna, steam room, and hot tub.
    I've done a little internet research (not super in depth).

    Things I've found out:
    - Being in a hotter environment will raise your heart rate.
    - Being in a hotter environment will increase blood flow, mostly to the skin/outer surface area of your body. (Does not necessarily increase blood flow to deep muscle tissue, for instance.) Contrast with, e.g., going for a walk, where increased blood flow isn't concentrated in the skin/outer surface area.
    - Some studies have shown benefits to using a steam room/sauna. The benefits are similar to the benefits of going for a walk. (Pure guess on my part: the benefit is similar due to the way both increase your HR for a sustained period of time.)

    Things I use it for:
    - It is a good way to relax after exercising. Relaxing after exercise can improve how well your body recovers (* I don't recall seeing studies on this, I think I've just read it online, take that with a grain of salt).
    - Heat cycling: you go in the hot for a while, take a very cold shower for a while, and optionally repeat. This may be beneficial for injuries and recovery (heat increases bloodflow, cold decreases it, so you are sort of 'flushing' your blood through; high flow, then cold to flush that extra blood out/etc). I'm not sure how much I buy into the supposed benefits of this though. Blood is flowing through areas all the time, not sure there would be benefit to getting larger amounts of flow to an area, then constricting everything with cold to flush it out... is the blood supposed to be just stagnant somewhere if not flushed out with cold? I don't think your blood is just pooling itself in some areas (in which case getting fresh blood in would be helpful). It does feel nice though, once you get used to it. The first few times the cold is pretty uncomfortable, but after that I actually enjoy the cold feeling after getting really hot in a steam room.

    Dry heat vs wet heat: This will affect how hot you feel. A sauna is generally a much higher tempurature than a hot tub gets, for instance, but the hot tub will feel hotter to you due to the water transmitting heat better into your skin than the dry air of a sauna does. In order of 'felt' hotness, I find: Steam room > hot tub > sauna.

    Skin benefits: Probably similar to exercising in general--getting all your pores to open up and sweat may have some benefits for skin health.
     
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  9. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Spreading your man is perfectly natural in this kind of location. SO is spreading your wo-man. Just my honest opinion. Always bring a towel.
     
  10. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Drink a lot of water in both rooms. They both make you sweat profusely. I am a big believe in the heat/water combo when it comes to health.
     
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  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Iirc having high blood pressure can effect how you use saunas and steam rooms, Using heat then having a cold shower can shoot your blood pressure up, so if you have any BP issues, don't do that.

    Saying that if you have BP issues, it's best to seek medical advice.
     
  12. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Yeah everyone at the health club I go to just uses the sauna & steam room sans clothing of any sort, except for sandals (which some wear, some don't). I always wear sandals as a case of athlete's foot would mean I can't go to Muay Thai for a while.
    The vast majority that I've noticed do not bring a towel or anything to put down.

    The sauna has wooden seats and is very dry, while the steam room has some sort of marble or similar benches and a tile floor/tile wall.
    I tried bringing a towel to sit on for a while, but ended up stopping as it was annoying to generate the extra laundry/hauling an extra towel around. I usually just stand in the steam room, or if I do sit on the bench, just wash that area really well with soap afterwards. Haven't caught any skin issues so far... fingers crossed.
     
  13. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    All dudes in a sauna, Im cool with that. Dont wanna be seeing some sweaty gootch in my face.
    I sometimes use the towel. It'll be the gyms towel, so just get to dump it after.
     
  14. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I have to apologize. I re-read my earlier post and realized how ribald it sounded. I basically just meant just towel up, and "spreading" should not be a problem. The ancient Greeks knew how to do this without any fuss, so what's the problem. :) As far as towels, I prefer extra large pool towels. Gym towels tend to be way too small for me, but large enough to grab and sit down on. That way, I can dump the public towel, and cover my butt and john thomas with my beach towel. 2 layers between me and the tile.
     

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