I have always been a proponent of that morning ice cold shower to wake up the nervous system and stimulate immune response with a heightened focus in the morning. There is also lot to be said with a steambath a few times a week. While this is quite difficult for the majority of us, as we don’t have a steambath room luxury in our house. I have been able to do it a few times a week after I swim in my local Racquetball Fitness gym.
There are several key health benefits with a steambath which are reducing stiffness in the joints/muscles, stimulating the immune system, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the skin and generally becoming more relaxed and rejuvenated. While steambath and sauna are sometimes use similarly, there are significant difference between the two. The steambath is usually a wet temperature (99 % humidity) ranging between 105 and 120 degrees and is generally constructed of tile, stone or acrylic. Sauna is a much higher temperature ranging between 165 and 180 degrees with a very low humidity (10-30%) and a white cedar or redwood type seating arrangement.
I will talk about Steambath today as it is more of my current choice based upon availability with this moist humidity temperature preference. I do feel several key differences in my overall health when I’m in the steambath approximately 15 to 20 minutes a few times a week. Following post workout swim, in the steambath room as the body sweats, I feel at the removal of toxins thru the skin. This is a key response that naturally occurs during sweat process that pushes toxins out of the body and also cleans the pores of the skin. There is also a true feeling of relaxation in the muscles and joints as stiffness and tightness is reduced, range of motion is improved. A deep sense of overall relaxation Meditative state due to a very controlled and sense of breathing. Blood flow is increased due to dilation of blood vessels, reduction skeletal and bronchial muscle tension and controlled rate of breathing via open airways. I Remember when I was a kid, sweating out the fever was a key element in the healing process and this stimulation of the immune system. Higher temperature rejuvenates the immune system to eliminate the toxins, weaken the bacteria strength and as this increases body’s ability to defend itself is heightened.
So, if you have the ability to sit in the steambath room a few times a week, there are multiple benefits that occur by clearing your mind and body of toxins, boosting the immune system, relaxing muscles increasing range of motion in joints and a overall sense of focus.