Exercise! - Sauna, steamroom, etc

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03-14-2004, 11:01 AM

I recently joined a YMCA and have started doing some weight training as well as riding an exercise bike and I try and swim two laps as well as just doing some leg exercises in the pool.

I am wondering if anyone has experience in sitting in saunas or steamrooms? They feel great (well I'm a little claustrophobic, so the steamroom is a challenge), but how long should I stay in there? Are there any weightloss or health benefits, or is it just for relaxation? I know you aren't supposed to stay in for long periods of time.

Thanks for any insight.


03-14-2004, 06:33 PM
There should be a list of rules inside and out of any sauna or steam room. These tell you how long etc. A rule of thumb is no more than 10 minutes tostart with.

The benefits include opening the pores for a good facial cleanse. Clearing out the bronchials for another good cleanse and being totally relaxing and giving a great sense of well being.

The negatives are the claustrophobia, the fact that they raise your BP considerably and that any weight loss is entirely due to water loss, not good eating or exercise!

If you have a heart condition, including raised BP, asthma or other COPD then you should avoid unless (with the latter) you have ben advised to use them to help your condition. Don't assume that as they open up the lungs that they help with asthma etc, they can have quick and negative results.

Otherwise lay back and enjoy. Personally I love them and take every opportunity I can to wind down in one or the other!

03-14-2004, 06:41 PM
Since I started running I like to use the whirlpool when I have achey muscles. If the temperature is hot enough.

03-14-2004, 06:49 PM
I absolutely love the sauna, steam room, and the whirlpool. After I work out, I go to the whirlpool for 10 minutes and then follow up with 5 or so minutes in the sauna or steam room. The heat is really great for the pain in my legs. I've never been much for the steam room until recently. It took a bit for me to get used to breathing the wet wet heat instead of the dry sauna heat.

I love the benefit of taking the time to just relax. I want a whirlpool and a sauna when I get rich. Or maybe a best friend with a whirlpool . . .

03-14-2004, 08:25 PM
I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who feels trepidation over the sauna. The first time I walked in and took a deep breath I walked right back out. I was sure I could not breath in there. I'm OK now as long as no one else is in the sauna and has the steam actually turned on. I tried staying in when the steam was coming out and just couldn't take it. I looked like a paraboiled lobster when I came out.


03-24-2004, 12:59 PM
Dehydration can get you... But has also been proven to NOT be as big a problem as we thought. Soda and coffee can actually be counted as fluids during the day (see water thread in food section)

Just make sure you are drinking enough fluids during and after... It is good for pores/toxins that are in the skin, but can really dehydrate your body fairly rapidly... Sweating during exercise is better, obviously, but sometimes it just feels good to relax in these saunas... LOL... Get enough water, make sure you are exercising, and you can enjoy these types of things... I wouldn't rcommend these to people who are not working out though, as it tends to raise the BP (as mentioned earlier)