If you have ever thought of using a sauna to lose weight, this article will show you everything you need to know about sauna weight loss.
The Finns have used saunas as a way to relax for thousands of years. Nowadays, saunas are more popular than ever and some people believe they can help them lose weight.
The sauna is a small room that uses heat from steam, stove or infrared bulbs to induce sweat. In short, a sauna is a sweat bath that heats up your body and makes you sweat.
The heat in the sauna promotes circulation and may help you relax. Sauna may also help lower the risk of cardiovascular illnesses and may help relieve symptoms of asthma by loosening phlegm, reducing stress, and opening the airways, research shows.
While the primary use of saunas is relaxation and detoxification, there have been many claims about the effectiveness of saunas for weight loss.
Can I Lose Weight by Sitting in A Sauna?
Yes, you can lose weight by sitting in a sauna, but you won’t be able to lose much of it.
The temperature in a sauna can be as high as 100 degrees Celsius (200 degrees Fahrenheit). The elevated temperature increases your heart rate by about 20 percent and makes you sweat a lot.
The weight you lose while sitting in a sauna is due to the water lost through excessive sweating.
Sauna can’t burn calories or melt belly fat. However, the increased heart rate can boost your metabolism, which in return may help you burn a few calories while in the sauna and some moments after leaving the room.
The truth is saunas can only help you lose water weight, not body fat.
Chances are you will be a few pounds lighter when you step out of the sauna but you will end up regaining the lost weight when you replenish the water lost through sweating.
Saunas are best for relaxation and detoxification. As for helping you to burn hundreds of calories while sitting, that is highly unlikely.
However, you can use these desk tricks to burn calories while sitting in a sauna.
Instead of using saunas to lose weight, work on changing your habits. Simple habits such as walking during lunch break, playing with the kids, drinking water before meals, and eating more fiber can help you reach your weight goal.
How Many Calories Do You Burn in A Sauna?
The number of calories you can burn during a sauna session depends on your body weight. But I can tell you that you will burn more calories than someone sitting at home watching TV.
For instance, a healthy 185-pound male burns 42 calories while sitting for 30 minutes.
Considering that the metabolic rate is higher during a sauna session, let’s multiply the number of calories burned while sitting by 2. 42×2 is equal to 84 calories.
Therefore, you may be able to burn 84 calories in a 30-minute sauna session. If you ask me, that’s not worth it. You can burn many more calories (up to 200 calories) by jumping rope for 10 minutes.
It doesn’t make sense to torture yourself sitting in saunas for hours in order to burn a few extra calories. You are better off doing intense workouts for a few minutes.
Side Effects of Using Sauna for Weight Loss
While sauna can provide several health benefits such as detoxification, it nonetheless has some side effects. Here are some of the disadvantages of overusing saunas.
Burn accidents are common with sauna use.
Reports show that hospitals in Finland receive a minimum of one patient who sustained burn injuries while using a sauna every day.
While the majority of these burns are minor, some can be life-threatening or even fatal. Most of the burn injuries from sauna use result from accidentally touching a hot surface such as a hot stone or stove surface.
Hot air in the sauna can also cause burns, as the temperature in the chamber can be over 100 degrees Celsius in some cases.
To avoid getting burnt in a sauna, don’t use it every day and always use it when you are sober.
2. Saunas May Harbor Harmful Organisms
The sauna has a warm and moist environment, a fertile ground for the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, a man became sick after frequent use of a sauna. Investigations revealed that mold contaminated the bucket he was using to pour water over the sauna heater.
3. Reproductive Defects
If you are a man trying to conceive a child, a sauna might not be the best pastime. The sauna raises body temperature, which causes a rise in testicle temperature and consequently lowers your sperm count.
In this study, researchers found that sperm count reduced within a week of using a sauna and took five weeks to return to normal.
Research has also linked sauna use during early pregnancy to embryonic and fetal abnormalities.
Sauna use can make your body sweat profusely, leading to increased loss of bodily fluid and dehydration.
Dehydration can result in the loss of essential metabolites and can lead to nausea and dizziness in some individuals. People who have kidney disorders are at a higher risk of dehydration and should avoid using the sauna.
In 2010, Russian Vladimir Ladyzhenzky died due to exposure to extreme heat after qualifying for the finals of the World Sauna Championships.
The ideal body temperature is about 98.7 F, but subjecting your body to temperatures over 198F is a recipe for disaster, which could cause a medical emergency.
The sauna should help you relax and detoxify, not kill you. If you start feeling ill or dizzy during a sauna session, get out of there quickly.
The truth is saunas can’t help you lose weight. The weight loss from sauna exposure is due to sweat, and you will regain it as soon as you drink or eat.
However, the sauna can help relax and detoxify the body.
If you want to lose weight, start eating healthy and follow a good workout routine. Above all, form healthy habits that you can stick to long-term.
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