Person sitting in a sauna asking "do saunas help you lose weight?

Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight? The Complete Truth

Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular fitness-related searches on Google is "how to lose weight quickly without exercising," It’s important to note that losing weight can be a very unreliable indicator of one's health and fitness level.

Also, despite the undeniable fact that there are many advantages to keeping a healthy weight, weight loss is also a symptom of most potentially fatal diseases.

Secondly, working out may seem like a big chore, but exercise is one of the finest elements of the human experience.

However, statistics don't lie, and most people have voiced their opposing opinion. They are looking for an easier way to lose weight.  And today, they might actually get one.

The Complete Truth About Sauna Weight Loss

Wouldn't it be great if you could step into a sauna heated to 150 degrees, stay there for thirty minutes as you relax, and come out having burned several hundred calories? (Oh, and while you're at it, why not toss in some extra energy and a youthful glow?)

Over the years, celebrities like Michelle Williams and Leonardo DiCaprio have expressed their admiration for infrared outdoor saunas, which come with plenty of health miracles.

Due to their power to penetrate deeper layers of the skin, infrared saunas speed up the metabolic rate and help the body burn anywhere from 150 to 300 calories during a thirty-minute session.

This may seem hard to believe or too good to be true. Saunas may facilitate weight loss, but you shouldn't expect one to be a cure-all for your weight problems.

Combining your workout with a sauna session yields the best results. The many benefits of saunas after a workout include a natural increase in HGH post-workout (by 200-300%!), the activation of heat shock proteins, an increase in metabolic rate (burn more fat!), helping to retain lean muscle mass, and mimicking cardiovascular exercise.

Don’t want to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes? We’re not the biggest fans of cardio either. Hopping in the sauna is a fantastic alternative.

The History of Sauna is Deeper than You Might Think

Sauna, pronounced: "sau (rhymes with wow) na," meaning bathhouse, is the only word in the Finnish language to be included in the English dictionary. First developed in Finland over two thousand years ago, the sauna has been an integral part of Finnish culture. In 1112, the first descriptions of the Finnish sauna depicted a hole dug into the side of a hill. In later years, saunas were constructed above ground using logs of wood. 

The rocks were brought to an extremely high temperature in a stone oven using a wood fire. There was not a chimney in this chamber, but there was a small air vent in the rear wall. During heating process, smoke was allowed to fill the space.

After the smoke had cleared, the bathers could enter the sauna, which still retained an elevated internal temperature from the smoke. The first sauna was known as the "savu," meaning smoke.

Eventually, Finns who emigrated took the tradition of the Finnish sauna all over the world. It was first introduced to North America in 1638 by Finnish colonists who established themselves in what is now the state of Delaware. The modern way of living and the invention of electricity resurrected the sauna.

After the electric sauna stove was introduced in the 1950s, some fortunate Americans who lived near Scandinavian communities had the wonderful opportunity to learn about saunas and incorporate them into their lifestyles.

Even after 360 years of existence in our nation, this amazing Finnish custom has not gone out of style, and we believe that says something.

Outdoor home sauna for weight loss to help you lose water weight

A Few Benefits of Saunas

- An infrared sauna improves overall health, wellness, and performance.

- They reduce the risk of brain deterioration, fatal cardiac incidents, and more.

- Saunas relax and soothe muscles and joint aches/pains.

- Deep sweating helps detox harmful toxins and chemicals.

- A 19-minute sauna session at 176 degrees lowers the risk for Alzheimer's & Dementia.

- They stimulate the production of serotonin (happy brain chemicals).

- Sitting in a sauna can raise human growth hormone (HGH).

- Regular sauna sessions optimize stress responses via heat shock proteins.

- They can increase one’s metabolic rate by around 30% after an hour-long session.

The Science behind Sauna Weight Loss

You've undoubtedly heard the rumors regarding weight reduction associated with saunas... "Sitting in the sauna for half an hour can help you shed HUNDREDS of calories!" and "Burning calories in a sauna is the QUICKEST way to lose weight!" Does this mean saunas and weight loss go hand in hand? The short answer — yes!

Using a sauna as part of your wellness routine provides a long-term and progressive boost to weight loss, making it an ideal alternative or addition to other common weight loss solutions. To maintain a completely healthy lifestyle, exercise and a well-balanced diet are still highly recommended. Here's what the science says.

Boosted Calorie Burn

An image of a woman who has lost weight due to more frequent sauna use.

Don't expect to burn the maximum number of calories in a single session if sitting and relaxing is all you’re doing. Maximum calorie burn can be achieved during your sauna usage by combining the heat with other activities, like stretching! Saunas can raise your heart rate by at least 30 percent, which results in greater energy demand and causes you to burn more calories during other activities — just make sure you are staying hydrated.

Any math-lovers out there? Let’s dive into the numbers. First, find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is basically the number of calories you burn during a period of zero activity.  Your BMR makes up around 70% of the calories you burn in a day.

Since we’ll be calculating the amount of calories burned during a 30-minute sauna session, we’ll need to divide your BMR by 48.  To find the number of calories burned during this session, multiply the number you got by 1.5 times.

This will provide you with an accurate estimate. For instance, if your BMR shows that you burn 1440 calories a day, you should anticipate burning approximately 45 calories during a 30-minute session in the sauna: (1440 ÷ 48) x 1.5 = 45

Since sauna sessions extend the effects of exercise beyond the time spent in the gym, using a sauna after working out is an excellent way to maximize the benefits of working out.

After exiting the sauna, your metabolic rate will remain elevated for many hours, providing you with an additional boost in calorie burn that will stay throughout the day whether or not you exercise afterward.

Essential Points to Remember: Part 1

  • Saunas can help with weight loss, but they should not be relied upon as a sole solution.

  • Infrared saunas can burn 150 to 300 calories during a 30-minute session.

  • Combining workouts with sauna sessions yields the best results, including increased HGH, activation of heat shock proteins, and improved metabolic rate.

  • Saunas have a deep history, originating in Finland over two thousand years ago.

  • Infrared saunas provide numerous health benefits, such as reduced risk of brain deterioration, muscle and joint pain relief, and detoxification.

Muscle and Joint Pain Relief

Exercising regularly is one of the most important aspects of getting in shape, reducing excess fat, and boosting lean muscle mass. It’s easy to use minor aches and pains as an excuse to avoid the gym since it’s common to have some discomfort in joints and muscles whenever you engage in physical activity.

Utilizing an infrared sauna may alleviate the pain in these areas, and in some cases, it may eliminate the discomfort altogether.

An infrared sauna reduces tension by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the tendons. The heart sends a signal to the body that it may be experiencing a "false fever," which leads to an increase in the production of white blood cells, assisting in the reduction of swelling and inflammation. 

On top of that, an increase in blood flow also promotes speedier muscle recovery. Since there will be less stress, an improvement in mobility/flexibility, and a more effective healing process, being active to lose weight will be easier and more fun.

Lipid Regulation

Using a sauna may enhance a person's lipids, namely fat and cholesterol levels. Infrared treatment can penetrate deep into these cells, promoting detoxification and increasing blood flow to the region.

This is particularly evident when it comes to lessening the appearance of cellulite, which is characterized by the dimpled appearance of fat cells close to the skin's surface. 

Even while the appearance of cellulite is not related to excessive weight, getting rid of it and making the fat cells smoother may be a great bonus to improving one's self-esteem.

According to several studies, those who frequent saunas had a better chance of seeing a sizeable decline in LDL (low-density lipoprotein, sometimes known as "bad cholesterol") and a marginal rise in HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol). 

These findings align with the hypothesis that moderate-intensity physical activity has a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels. A decrease in "bad" cholesterol is an excellent indicator of a successful fat reduction and an improvement in overall health.

Better Sleep and Relaxation

Sleep may not seem like a significant factor in fat loss, but it plays a significant part in making sure that your mental state remains on track while you work toward your goal.

Many people don’t know this, but your body heals the most during a good night’s sleep. Going without sleep is also saying goodbye to the important time your body needs to heal your muscles effectively.

A lack of sleep causes a lack of energy. Your body tries to make up for this by making you more hungry for calorie-dense foods.

Craving unhealthy meals or seeking out needless food for increased energy can lead to a vicious cycle of eating more than you need. 

Lack of sleep also leads to increased stress and worry, which are known to be triggers for unhealthy eating behaviors. Sauna sessions affect the autonomic nervous system, causing it to shift into the parasympathetic state (also known as the "rest and digest" state), promoting better sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about saunas that we've gathered and answered for you.

Can saunas help you lose belly fat?

While sauna aids weight loss by burning calories, increasing metabolism, and promoting relaxation, they are not a targeted solution for losing belly fat specifically. It's essential to combine sauna sessions with regular exercise and a healthy diet to achieve optimal results, including reducing belly fat.

Does sauna bathing help with weight gain due to water weight?

Saunas can help with losing water weight as you sweat during a session. However, this water weight loss is not permanent, and once you rehydrate, the lost water weight will return. Saunas should not cause weight gain as long as you maintain proper hydration and follow a healthy lifestyle.

Do Saunas Help Acne? 

Sweating heavily in a sauna has a detoxifying impact on the pores and glands of the body, causing the elimination of toxins and other impurities. This results in skin that is less prone to breakouts, such as acne, blackheads, and pimples. In addition to offering an all-natural cure for your current acne condition, the sauna also helps prevent future breakouts.

Will Saunas Help You Lose Weight? 

Saunas help burn fat by increasing your heart rate, boosting your metabolism, and promoting relaxation. The heat from the sauna raises your core body temperature, causing your heart rate to increase, which results in increased calorie burn. Saunas also stimulate the production of heat shock proteins, which can aid in fat burning and retaining lean muscle mass.

Do Saunas Help Detox The Body?

Although the sauna does not directly remove toxins from the body, it makes it easier for those toxins to leave the body through the biggest organ: the skin. Toxins leave the body via sweat; therefore, detoxification may be improved, facilitated, and boosted significantly by stepping in a sauna for 15–30 minutes at 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit 2-4 times each week.

How do saunas affect blood vessels?

Saunas can have positive effects on blood vessels. The heat from the sauna causes blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow and improves circulation. This can help with muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and promote overall cardiovascular health. Regular sauna use has been associated with improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation and decreased arterial stiffness.

How Does Sauna Help Retaining Lean Muscle Mass?

Due to the heat, the body goes into a condition of moderate stress, causing it to produce heat shock proteins. These proteins are responsible for repairing the cellular damage that happens as a result of heat exposure. These proteins boost muscle development by promoting the body's natural antioxidant defense system and stimulating muscle growth. Paired with an increase in HGH, this causes your body to retain more lean muscle mass.

How Does The Sauna Mimic Cardio Vascular Exercise?

Yes, you can mimic cardio workouts with a sauna. Regular use of saunas has been postulated to improve cardiovascular function in several ways, including enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilation, decreased arterial stiffness, favorable changes in circulating lipid profiles, modulation of the autonomic nervous system, and a reduction in overall systemic blood pressure.

Can saunas be dangerous in extreme heat?

While saunas are generally safe, they can be dangerous in extreme heat if precautions are not taken. It's important to stay well-hydrated, avoid alcohol before and during sauna use, and limit your time in the sauna to avoid overheating.

How many calories do you burn in a sauna session?

The number of calories burned in a sauna session can vary depending on factors like your weight, metabolism, and the duration of the session. On average, you can burn between 50 to 300 calories during a 30-minute sauna session. Combining sauna use with exercise and a healthy diet can help maximize weight loss results.

Infrared Saunas - Best for Losing Weight?

There aren't many things that can make you feel more pampered than spending some time in a sauna. But treating yourself to an infrared sauna session? That's next level. They are not quite the same as other saunas which can generate moisture and warm the people inside—infrared saunas heat the body by illuminating it with infrared light.

(If you absolutely hate sitting in a hot room but want to take advantage of a sauna, this is a fantastic alternative.)

Studies have indicated that infrared saunas may reduce stress, enhance blood flow, and provide pain relief for chronic pain sufferers.

Since saunas are a great way to experience the benefits of heat therapy in the comfort of your own home, we did extensive research on the best saunas available on the market.

We assessed their comfort levels, simplicity of operation, and overall value.

Check it out here!

Infrared saunas and regular saunas have a calming and soothing effect mentally and physically, particularly after a workout. So, if you're a gym owner looking for saunas in gyms, search no further.

Most of the items on the list above come at a reasonable cost, and once installed, they are designed to endure for many years, allowing you to make the most out of your investment in the foreseeable future.

Essential Points to Remember: Part 2

  • Saunas can boost calorie burn, provide muscle and joint pain relief, regulate lipids, and improve sleep and relaxation.

  • Regular sauna use can have long-term and progressive benefits for weight loss.

  • Infrared saunas can help with acne, detoxification, and retaining lean muscle mass.

  • Saunas can mimic cardiovascular exercise, providing similar benefits for cardiovascular function.

  • Investing in a high-quality infrared sauna can be a valuable addition to your health and wellness routine.

Contact Airpuria to Learn More About Sauna Weight Loss Benefits

So there you have it: this was a complete guide on saunas' health benefits and information on how saunas benefit weight loss.

If you're someone who wants to "burn hundreds of calories in minutes" or "drop weight quickly," you should also be complimenting your sauna session with frequent workouts and a healthy diet!

The effects of saunas are often seen long-term and will be far more fulfilling and successful than any quick-fix diet or miracle therapy could ever be.

This brings us to the end of this extensive guide; now it's time to hear from you. Any questions? Or maybe there's something we missed? Either way, feel free to leave a comment below!

Financing Options for Sauna Purchases

When considering purchasing a sauna, look for providers like Airpuria that offer financing options to make your investment more affordable.

Airpuria provides financing for all customers with rates as low as 0% for up to 18 months, as well as business financing with flexible terms and competitive rates.

  • Personal financing options with 0% interest rates for up to 18 months are available for individuals.

  • Business owners can apply for special financing programs tailored to their needs.


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