Contrary to popular belief, those with high blood pressure (hypertension), can spend time in a steam room if certain conditions are met. The high heat of a steam room, hot tub or sauna can cause problems for those with severe high blood pressure. Luckily, these relaxing spots found in spas and sports clubs can help unwind those with regulated symptoms. Even patients currently using prescription blood pressure medication can use steam rooms and saunas.
Wait at least 15 minutes after exercising before entering the steam room. According to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, your blood pressure can drop to a dangerous level when entering a steam room directly after exercise. This is especially the case if you are taking medication for high blood pressure.
Evaluate your symptoms before entering the steam room. Avoid a hot steam or sauna if you are exhibiting symptoms of high blood pressure. This includes shortness of breath, chest pain or dizziness. Some people may be able to enter a steam room one day but need to avoid it the next because of sudden symptoms.
Enter the steam room and relax. Do not stay longer than recommended. Sports clubs and spas post suggested steam times near the instructions for the room. A typical visit lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
Leave the steam room once you have reached the time limit. Some people alternate between the steam room and a cool swimming pool. This is ill-advised for those with hypertension. Instead, spend one session in the steam room and continue your day elsewhere.
If you start to feel light-headed while in the steam room, cut your session short. Consult your doctor for advice specific to your high blood pressure symptoms.
Avoid drinking alcohol just before or during a steam room or sauna session. Avoid wearing a thick robe or towel in the steam room, as it can keep you warmer than is healthy.