Saunas have been shown to help detoxify your body from harmful toxins and improve your cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as helping heal muscles and chronic pain.
But is a sauna good for 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.
We’ll dive into how a sauna helps in losing weight as well as all the tips and tricks in using your infrared sauna to help optimize your overall health.
Does a Sauna Help You Lose Weight?
According to research, dry saunas have been proven to help lower weight in overweight people with a large body mass index.
The way you lose weight with a sauna, happens in these different ways:
- Sweating Probably the most obvious way to most of us, sweating is one of the way’s our body loses weight. Water weight that is. When it comes to water weight, it can (and should) easily come back when you rehydrate.
- Detoxification Your immune system is constantly going up against an arsenal of toxins such as pesticides, toxic metals, PCBs in plastics, 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 by using a sauna, those toxins can be reduced and allow your body to burn fat more easily.
- 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 by 20% according to Jackson, which allows you to keep burning calories a few hours later after spending time in your sauna.
- Lowering Stress. That’s right, infrared heat helps your body lower it’s cortisol level, which is a hormone that has been proven to cause weight gain. So don’t forget to add a mediation session to your routine sauna time so you can get those stress levels down even more.
How to Use a Sauna to Lose Weight
There are important and safe ways to use your infrared sauna in order to really maximize on the health benefits, including weight loss.
A sauna routine is unique to everyone – but there are some core guidelines you can follow to shape and create your sauna routine.
- Hydration – Always make sure your are 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.
Tips for Safely Using Your Infrared Sauna for Weight Loss
Using your infrared sauna for weight loss should be done with safety and health in mind.
Here are some tips to using your infrared sauna safely:
- Avoid alcohol before using a sauna
- Don’t stay in a sauna longer than recommended
- Use a temperature 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, is truly about keeping in mind the long term. Eating healthy and exercising become a way of life and a mindset rather than just a phase for those who really experience a positive weight loss journey.
Make the most out of your weight loss journey and increase your body’s health from the inside out in a holistic and natural way using an infrared sauna to help detoxify, heal chronic pain, improve muscles, burn calories, and improve your body’s internal systems. While many good things may take some hard work and time, it’s always worth it in the end.