I believe using the sauna and steam room helps
you rid your body of toxins
The cornerstone of my healthy living routine is to take a sauna and steam everyday. I get to the gym as early as possible so I can get at least 15 - 20 minutes in the sauna and 5 or 10 minutes in the steam room before I work out. I believe this helps you rid of toxins. I looked on line to see if the medical community agrees, but all I found were contradicting stories. Some sites said it really just increases your sense of well being. Not a bad thing, but not backing up my theory at all.
I do a light stretch in the sauna before working out
But, think about it. The skin is our largest organ. It is meant to be a pathway for the elimination of toxins and waste material from our bodies. Some sites I went to said creams, deodorants, oils, dead skin cells and the yucky like can block your pores and lock in toxins. I have not had a problem with acne at all since I've been a daily user of the steam. I remember when I was a teenager and had a real problem with acne, my mother bought me this steam device - you would place your face into it and steam. It worked! Heat from a sauna opens the pores and the sweat flushes out the bad material and toxins.
After work out Schvitz!
All the sites I went to agreed that the sauna causes your blood bessels to dialate and increase the flow of oxygen and fluids to skin cells. Before my workout I stretch my muscles while I sauna. I notice that during my workout I start to sweat a lot quicker when I sauna first. I sauna after working out, too, and take a steam. I drink tons of water before, during and after. And I take a freezing cold shower between sauna and steam and when I'm done. I don't shower before heading to the sauna. It cools your body so it will take all that much longer for you to start to sweat. I learned this tip from a Russian lady that I worked with when I first moved to NYC. She was in her 70's and looked 50 years old. I'm so accustomed to my daily schvitz that I get out-of-sorts when I don't get to sauna and steam. It's part of the reason I don't miss a day at the gym - it's my pre- and post- workout treat.
I also read that in a typical sauna session one can burn 300 calories. I've never worn my heart rate monitor in the sauna so I can't attest to this. I don't svitz to lose weight - I do it to feel great. When I have taken that last freezing cold shower after my schvitz, I feel like a million bucks.
It's important to moisturize after you sauna and steam. Plus you can lose important minerals when you sweat profusely. Stay tuned later this week - I'm going to post about supplements.