Friends, something wonderful has happened: I have discovered the steam room. I avoided it for a long time, because I’m startled by sudden loud noises (like the steam vents make), and I have never been a fan of excessive heat. (No pun intended. Maybe.) I do enjoy sitting in the hot tub, but just never equated the same sense of cleansing and relaxation with being out of the water.
Recently, I started read an article about some of the muscle-relaxing, skin-clearing, toxin-busting, immune-boosting benefits of steam rooms and saunas, so I gave myself 5 minutes in the steam room to try it out. At first, I wasn’t sure. The steam vent “whoooshed” loudly as soon as I walked in, and I almost jumped out of my skin, but I reminded myself to be a grown up and took a seat as far away from the vent as possible.
After 5 minutes had passed, I started to feel the relaxation seeping in, and I wanted to stay even longer. Having just gotten over a cold, breathing in the moist warm air felt really healing and wonderful. I gave myself three more minutes before I decided it was just too darn hot, and I had gotten all the relaxation I needed. For the rest of the night, I felt calm and relaxed, and I even slept more soundly.
If you’re thinking about trying the steam room or sauna, be sure to read the instructions and warnings on the door before you go in. Just like the hot tub, it may not be right for everyone, especially those with specific medical conditions – but if you are able, and if you’re one of those people (like me) who likes rewards to stay motivated for tough workouts, I highly recommend gifting yourself with a little time in the steam room.