Steam Room Rules

A steam room is a great place to relax and reduce stress. Regular steam baths can help ease muscle tension, alter moods, cure and prevent cold and flu symptoms and clear the sinuses. According to Bodybuilding.com, steam baths also help increase your metabolism, improve skin complexion and alleviate sports injury pains. Although steam baths offer an array of health benefits, there are some precautions and rules to follow when entering a steam room.

Three women in a steam room. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Don't Eat First

You should wait at least one hour after eating a big meal before going into the steam room. While in the steam room, the circulation in your blood changes and can affect the way food is digested. If you eat prior to going into the steam room, you may experience uncomfortable cramping.

Dress Light

The temperature in a steam room will range anywhere from 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and is filled with a constant mist. Dressing light will prevent your clothes from clinging to your body, as well as preventing you from overheating. Consider wearing a swimsuit or going nude; be sure to always sit on a towel when steaming in public areas.

Drink Water

While in a steam room, your body temperature rises causing you to sweat more than normal. Be sure to drink water before and after taking a steam bath to stay hydrated. Inadequate amounts of water can cause dehydration and should be avoided at any cause.

Don't Stay Too Long

Limit your time in the steam room to about 15 to 20 minutes. If you begin to feel uncomfortable or have a sudden need to be cool, step out for a few minutes or end your steam session all together. Moreover, start with short relaxing steam baths and build yourself up to a 20-minute time frame.

Allow for Cool Down

After leaving the steam room, cool off with cool fresh air and cool water without shocking the system and to avoid shivering. Additionally, you want your body temperature to cool down and return to normal before entering a pool, hot tub or sauna; dramatic changes in body temperature can be harmful and can overtax your circulation.

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