Does sitting in the sauna burn fat?

When you try to lose weight, know that you’re going to target your entire body, as in shedding weight from muscle, water, and fat. However, when you’re trying to slim down in inches, you remove all the excess fat from your body that isn’t needed. In that process, you might gain muscle too. 

It’s not only a healthier goal to burn fat, but also another way to measure your body! That way, you’ll be able to live a more disease and problem-free life.

A great way to burn fat without putting yourself through too much physical pain is using a sauna. It does not only boost your body’s metabolism but also helps you lose water weight. But the real question is, how effective is it? 

Does Sitting In The Sauna Burn Fat?

Well, to a certain extent, a sauna helps you burn calories the same way you’d burn them through exercise. However, depending on the exercise, you’re probably not burning as much in the sauna as you are when working out. With the heat around, you are bound to sweat and lose water weight. There will be minimum fluid in your body, and you’ll be able to see a change on the scale once you step out.

Nonetheless, we can’t ignore the fact that this ‘shred’ is provisional and short-lived. What the sauna can do, though, is make your heart beat faster and use up more of your energy to breathe. This is similar to exercise and can make you burn fat if you lose a certain number of calories. Calories and fat loss go hand-in-hand. 

How Does The Sauna Help You Burn Fat? 

Detoxification and De-stressing

Saunas can detox your body in a few ways. The first is through the scents and aromas placed inside the room. These have substances that de-stress the mind and body in several ways. They reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormone) your body is producing, increasing stress tolerance and improving moods significantly.

Secondly, natural sweating can also tire your body and improve sleep patterns if you do it regularly. Saunas increase beta-endorphins in your body, which can make you more resilient to pain. Some doctors have also come to the conclusion that saunas can improve depressive and anxious states by releasing euphoric hormones while your body deals with the heat. 

And finally, it can reduce some kinds of toxins in your body. Saunas raise your body temperature temporarily, kill bacteria and viruses that may have been trapped. This helps in the overall cleansing of the body. However, saunas can be dangerous if not monitored correctly as they cause dehydration, which can cause serious problems for people with weak kidneys. Use them responsibly! 

Calorie Burning

Fat and calories are directly proportional to each other. The more excess calories you consume above and beyond what you burn, the more weight you’re going to gain. Saunas, however, help break that chain. They’re great for burning calories without moving around, but – and I’m not going to sugarcoat this – the process is slower. The sauna isn’t a magic bullet that will make the fat melt away by sitting around with no effort. 

The heat inside a sauna will make your heart beat faster by about 30%, boost your metabolism by 20% and use up more of your energy to stabilize, which will increase your level of exertion. The result of this is burning calories. In a 30 minute session, you can burn 30-150 calories. 

Some doctors have recommended using an infrared sauna because it has the maximum amount of radiant heat, which is effective in speeding up the process. A traditional or steam sauna heats up the air making the atmosphere uncomfortable for most people, but an infrared heats the body instead. This can lead to a longer session with moderate temperatures. 

I personally don’t agree with this view, however.  I believe the best way to experience the sauna is the good old-fashioned traditional method of hot, dry heat. 

Combating major health problems

You’d often find people from the age of 50-65 sitting in saunas while the younger generation takes a dip in the pool. There’s a reason for that. Saunas can be effective in reducing the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s on one’s body. 

This does not mean it’ll get rid of the diseases, but the overall consequences are sure to take a back seat. The health benefits of sauna cause an increase in BDNF, also known as brain-derived neurotrophic factors. They’re effective in promoting the growth of new brain cells, which is great for people with dementia as it improves memory and the functioning of the brain. 

Easing your pain

Saunas are great if you’re experiencing pain and soreness in the muscles. You’ll be able to notice a change in the level of pain you have before and after using a sauna, especially after intense workout sessions or activities that target weak spots. When your body absorbs the heat from the atmosphere, it releases endorphins that create an almost euphoric, peaceful, and tranquil effect that has the ability to minimize joint and muscle pain. 

Your blood circulation is bound to improve and strengthen, which will positively impact the body’s natural healing process. In some cases, it will boost the overall speed and heal your aches in a lesser amount of time. 

It’s always great to sit in the sauna after you’re done exercising because that will not only help you burn more calories but will naturally make you feel elevated, de-stressed, happier, and lighter. You’re bound to get a good night’s sleep after visiting a sauna. All your muscles will relax, and you’ll sleep like a baby under those sheets! 

Final Say

While saunas have their own perks, it is necessary to keep a lookout for the duration and temperature at which you’re sitting/lying down. An excess of too much can reverse the benefits and cause serious health issues. We recommend using the sauna for 20-40 minutes at a temperature of 150-195 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Going below that will not be as effective, but exceeding these limits has the potential to cause serious damage. Using the sauna regularly will help you see changes in your body.

1 Comment
  1. Mark, you’ve written a very informative article! Taking sauna baths regularly will indeed help you lose weight, but asking for a miracle is pointless. I regularly workout and then sauna, as a result of which I can shed excess fat that I have gained by sitting in my office chair for long periods. My calm body finally lulls me to sleep.

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