K. Pradeep enjoys a steam bath from a range of fitness programmes at SOFTOUCH
It was raining. Drenched, I stepped into Softouch Health Club, at the Regional Sports Centre (RSC), Kadavanthara. The nearly 2,000 square foot space was chock- a- bloc with trainees. Almost all the state-of-the art exercise equipment were ‘occupied.’ Music, albeit a bit too loud, drowned the chatter, burr of the treadmills and clanging of the metal.
Shaji A. A. has been trainer here for the last 16 years. He took me around and asked me if I wanted to try out something. Wet and a bit cold I was not in a state to walk the treadmill or workout on any of those crossover machines. That’s when Shaji asked, “Want to try the sauna or a steam bath sir? We are perhaps the only ones who have this sort of facility along with all the regular works.”
The toss fell in favour of the steam bath. Wrapped in a towel I was led into the darkness of a room, which can accommodate four people at a time. Slowly I was being enveloped by the steam rising around me. Soon I was covered in thick mist. Once your eyes cleared, you could feel this steam pouring onto your body. At the end of 15-20 minutes I felt my muscles loosening, relaxed, a wee bit sleepy too.
“Sauna and steam bath are therapy exercises. The former is dry heat, while the other is wet heat. Unlike the sauna in steam bath your body doesn’t get overheated as the mist is also cooling. The other effects of a steam bath include your body flushing out any environmental toxins. The tense and painful feeling that you may experience in your head and shoulder muscles will be unravelled by your soothing steam bath. It is relaxing but you should make sure that you don’t stay for more than 15 to 20 minutes. The steam will soothe sinus irritation due to allergies or colds, chest congestion from asthma or bronchial infection. Excessive sweating clears your pores and purges toxins. The elevated temperature increases your circulation for healthier skin and more energy. Just like a hot bath, this treatment will relax stiff muscles and ease swelling or tension in joints associated with arthritis. Doing it twice a week is ideal,” informs Shaji.
Apart from therapy exercises Softouch has well defined programmes for its trainees. They have equipments and machines for cardio training, strength equipments and exercises, manual training programmes without any machines, aerobics and even physiotherapy exercises. “We find a lot of people with knee related injuries. We give them a planned workout on leg curling or leg extension machines, regular exercises and diet.”
A health card for the trainees and a female trainer are added features of Softouch. “The health card includes a personalised diet plan. Every three weeks it is reviewed. Vini is the female trainer. We also have three assistant trainers. For the women trainees Vini fixes the schedules and diet in consultation with me. Maintaining general fitness is the trend now, we have a lot of trainees who come here to keep themselves physically fit.”
Located inside the RSC the health club very often becomes the venue for fitness camps for sportspeople. “There are many sports activities and coaching camps at the RSC. These trainees are given special training here. This will differ according to the sport.”Bottomline: Diverse programmes ranging from the regular manual exercises to sauna, steam bath to special training for sportsmen.
Qualified male and female trainers that prepare schedules, health check and prescribe personalised diet.
Downside: The sauna and steam bath rooms need maintenance or at least a fresh coat of paint.
Contact Softouch at 3230042 or Shaji at 9847450564.