Steam heat can help open up and relax your respiratory system

  • When you improve your overall cardiovascular system, you can lower your heart rate, which is another benefit to exercise performance. Acclimatizing to the heat of a steam room on a regular basis may help to lower overall core body temperature, which promotes a greater body's ability to engage in physical activity for a longer period of time. Is it extremely hot in here, or do you appear to be in better shape than ever? Actually, both, assuming you incorporate a steam room into your fitness regimen. Here's how the power of steam can assist you in reaching your physical and athletic goals.

    One animal study discovered that intermittent hyperthermia may promote muscle regrowth and limit muscle cell damage after physical activity. One method of accomplishing this is through the production of “heat shock proteins” (HSP), which slow protein degradation. These may appear to be intimidating, but HSPs can actually protect against a stress reaction (by fighting free radicals) and can aid in the repair of damaged proteins. When protein integrity is preserved, muscle-building nutrients can be delivered to muscle cells that have been damaged by training. 


    What if you discovered that there is a simple way to improve your fitness results, and all you have to do is sit back and relax? Of course, it all depends on where you sit. The truth is that taking the time to sit in a steam room, especially before and after a workout or any physical activity, can make a significant difference in your ability to achieve your fitness goals. The majority of people are familiar with steam rooms, and you may have even spent some time in one yourself. However, what many active people and serious athletes are unaware of is the potential benefits that corner steam room therapy (also known as hyperthermic conditioning) may provide on a cellular level. 

    Breathing may appear to be a reflex action that does not necessitate conscious effort, but for athletes and other physically active people, poor breathing technique can have a negative impact on your performance during training and competition. Allergies, environmental toxins, (exercise-induced) asthma, and routine nasal congestion can all impair your strength and endurance capacity. The problem is that we can become so accustomed to the breathing difficulties that we aren't even aware that they are causing us difficulty! This is where a session in the steam room can feel like a revelation. The use of steam heat has been shown to help open up and relax your respiratory system, which may result in an improvement in overall pulmonary function. By clearing out your breathing passageway, you increase your ability to get more oxygen into your system, which can help you perform at a higher level during workouts and competitions.

    The use of steam may also aid in the production of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the body. Both of these hormones have the potential to have significant effects on muscle growth in a natural and safe way. According to one animal study, the increase in GH caused by hyperthermic conditioning was a whopping 16-fold! With growth hormone (GH) being a popular hormone sought after by the anti-aging crowd, perhaps a daily session in the steam room should be tried first before seeking a prescription.

    Several mechanisms are at play in this situation. The first is blood flow. The heat from steam may help to increase circulation, which in turn helps to deliver healing nutrients to your starving muscle cells that have been damaged by intense physical exertion. Improved blood flow also contributes to what weight-training athletes refer to as "the pump," which not only feels good but also helps saturate your muscles with muscle-growth activators and nutrients that repair and strengthen cells. This process also has the added benefit of increasing plasma volume, which is beneficial during athletic activity and subsequent recovery. This also has the effect of increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to muscles, which improves aerobic efficiency. 

    Sessions in the steam room near me may also be beneficial for increasing red blood cells. It is well known among serious athletes that an increase in red blood cells can significantly improve endurance capacity. That's why doping cyclists in the Tour de France (I'm not naming names, Lance) used EPO (erythropoietin), a banned drug that artificially increases red blood cells. That demonstrates how valuable it is to have extra red blood cells, and hyperthermic conditioning can assist you in obtaining them in a natural manner. This process also has the added benefit of increasing plasma volume, which is beneficial during athletic activity. A win-win-win situation exists.

    According to research and anecdotal evidence, sessions in a steam room can help you lose a few pounds. While some of this weight is undoubtedly due to the body's sweating mechanism, which is primarily comprised of fluids, hyperthermic conditioning can help to optimize your body's fluid retention over the long term. Always remember to replenish and rehydrate with water after sessions in the steam room, as well as during workouts in and outside of your health club or wherever you exercise.

    You exercise to improve your muscle tone and body weight, in short, to appear more attractive and healthy, and you want to cover up all of that awesomeness with clean, smooth skin. Steam rooms may aid in the creation of beautiful skin by increasing blood flow (see above), which aids in the removal of toxins from your system. The moist heat from a steam room also opens up your pores, providing another avenue for removing the bacteria and dirt that cause pimples, blackheads, and other skin eruptions. Beauty is more than just skin deep, but it's a good place to start!