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What Is the Best Way To Use a Steam Room?

author image David Benjamin
Based in the Greater New York area, David Benjamin is a veteran of the fitness industry of over 15 years. He is coauthor of "The Business and Practice of Personal Training" and has lectured to countless fitness professionals. Benjamin holds a degree in physical education from the State University of New York, Cortland.
What Is the Best Way To Use a Steam Room?
woman relaxing in steam room Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Dating back to ancient Greece, the steam room is a common amenity in pools and fitness centers. Normally consisting of a simple tile room with a steam generator, the steam room is popular for its relaxing effects. Follow some simple steps to make the most of your next steam room visit.

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Step 1

Shower first. A shower will keep the steam room pleasant for both you and other visitors by removing any dirt, body odor or perfume. If you use a swimming pool before you take a steam, a shower will also remove chlorine.

Step 2

Stay protected. The moist, wet tile in the steam room can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. According to, bacteria such as athlete's foot and MRSA are serious concerns in shared facilities. Keep yourself safe by sitting on a towel and wearing shower shoes while in the steam room.

Step 3

Watch the temperature. A steam room should maintain a temperature between 110 and 116 degrees Fahrenheit. If the mist remains constant, the humidity in a steam room should stay above 100 percent.

Step 4

Set time limits. Spa expert Reinhard R. Bergel, Ph.D., recommends steam sessions of no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. For multiple sessions, take a break between steams using cool air or water to lower your body temperature. Alternating between hot and cold helps stimulate circulation.

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