How to Use a Steam Room With High Blood Pressure

senior couple  relaxing at sauna
Two couples in a steam room. (Image: funstock/iStock/Getty Images)

Steam rooms can have beneficial health effects, including reduced stress, improved circulation and relief of muscle pain. They can help clear your sinuses, and they open your pores and cleanse your skin. People with high blood pressure are generally advised not to use steam rooms, but steam's advantages of relaxation and vascular dilation for people with mild hypertension might outweigh any risks. With the proper precautions, you can enjoy the health benefits of a steam bath.

Step 1

Drink plenty of water before you go into the steam room, while you are in there and after you are done. The steam causes you to sweat profusely, and dehydration from this fluid loss can create extra strain on your heart.

Step 2

Let your body cool down after exercising before you go into a steam room. This will help keep your body from overheating.

Step 3

Refrain from alternating a steam room and cold bath or shower, and don't take a cold shower after using a steam room. Instead, take a lukewarm shower or bath when you are finished. Sudden temperature changes can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Step 4

Limit your time in the steam room to no more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Step 5

Get out of the steam room immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous, or if you have any chest pain, shortness of breath or numbness.

Tip

Talk to your doctor about using a steam room if you have high blood pressure. If your case isn't severe and you don't have many symptoms, limited use of a steam bath could be good for you.

Warning

Avoid steam rooms and saunas if you are using medication for hypertension. This is because the heat from the steam room could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure that can cause you to faint. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability warns that medication can exacerbate this effect.

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