Saunas have been shown to help detoxify your body from harmful toxins and improve your cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as help heal muscles and chronic pain. But can a sauna help with weight loss?
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular use of a sauna compares to the same cardiovascular effect of running. Infrared heat therapy helps raise your core body temperature as your body absorbs the infrared heat, which then boosts your cardiovascular, lymphatic, and immune systems creating a fat-based sweat to help your body detox and yes, help lose some weight.
Of course, having a healthy diet and regular exercise are imperative to a weight loss journey. There aren’t any shortcuts there, so make sure a healthy diet and exercise routine are part of the plan.
But if you’re looking for wellness that goes deeper and also helps with the process of weight loss, an infrared sauna can provide a wealth of health benefits.
Let’s dive in and discover how saunas help with weight loss as well as tips for using your infrared sauna to optimize your overall health.
Does a Sauna Help You Lose Weight?
According to research, infrared saunas have been proven to help people reach a healthier weight. The way this works is via the following:
- Sweating –Easily the most obvious to most of us, sweating is one way infrared saunas help us lose weight. While much of this is water weight, you should still rehydrate after sauna use to replenish essential fluids.
- Detoxification – Your immune system is constantly battling an arsenal of toxins such as pesticides, toxic metals, PCBs, environmental pollution, and even GMOs (genetically modified organisms). These toxins can also inhibit your metabolism according to Physical Therapy Doctor and Functional Medicine Specialist, Tim Jackson. When you detox in an infrared sauna, it reduces toxins and enhances fat burning.
- Burning Calories – We often think of burning calories in the form of sweat, but it’s more complex than that. Infrared heat raises your body’s temperature which then raises your metabolic rate, as much as 20% according to Jackson, so you keep burning calories hours after your sauna time.
- Lowering Stress – Lesser known but equally impactful is that infrared heat helps your body lower its cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone that has been proven to cause weight gain when it’s out of balance. Adding mediation to your routine sauna session can help reduce stress levels even more.
How A Sauna Helps You Lose Weight
There are important and safe ways to use your infrared sauna in order to maximize the health benefits. How a sauna helps with weight loss is fairly simple, and regular use produces better outcomes.
A sauna routine is unique to everyone – but there are key tips you can follow to shape and create your sauna routine.
- Hydration – Always make sure you’re well hydrated before and after a sauna session.
- How often to use a sauna – While an infrared sauna is safe to use every day, start off with 1-3 times per week. Maximize this time by having the session after a workout (that you have cooled down from).
- How long to stay in a sauna – It’s recommended to keep your sauna sessions 15-20 min long. You can also adjust the temperature based on your comfort level.
- Cool down – Allow your body to cool off after your sauna session.
Safely Using Your Infrared Sauna for Weight Loss
Using your infrared sauna for weight loss should be done with safety in mind. Here are some tips to consider:
- Avoid alcohol before using a sauna
- Don’t stay in a sauna longer than recommended
- Use a temperature setting your body is comfortable with
- Start off with shorter sauna sessions and you can gradually increase the time
- Don’t use the sauna pre-workout as it could increase your chances of injury or dehydration
- Stay hydrated! Look out for signs of dehydration and make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes
- Avoid using the sauna when you are ill
Weight loss, like any health goal, includes eating healthy and exercising. Incorporating those other elements is important for any weight loss journey.
We’ve learned that a sauna can help with weight loss in a holistic and natural way. Infrared saunas offer many other benefits, including detoxification, healing chronic pain, muscle recovery, and more.
To get details on which infrared sauna will work best for your lifestyle and health goals, contact our Health Mate sauna specialists. We can wait to share the infrared journey with you!