DOES A SAUNA HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
Saunas have been used for centuries to offer a variety of health benefits while also providing rejuvenation and relaxation. They help to increase blood circulation and to detoxify the body. They can also help boost the immune system and improve lung health. But how good is a sauna when it comes to losing weight? Does a sauna help you lose weight? The short answer is, Yes! However, there are a few things you need to know when using a sauna to lose weight.
Saunas And Weight Loss
Using a sauna regularly can help you lose body weight gradually. However, you cannot rely solely on using a sauna to achieve the results because most of the weight lost in the immediate aftermath will come from water loss. Therefore, you will need to combine your sauna sessions with a healthy diet, lifestyle, and exercise regime.
When using an outdoor sauna to lose weight, you might want to consider creating a healthy outdoor space that will support your weight loss goals. For example, you can set up a covered space that includes your sauna, a weight bench, and even a concrete pad that you can use for stretching or yoga. If you have a pool, consider setting up your sauna or exercise space near it so that you can use the sauna after a good swim session. This will also allow you to utilize the “Nordic Cycle,” which can provide even more benefits from your sauna session. No pool? No problem, consider using an Ice Bath or even an old tub that you can fill with cold water to use in between sessions instead.
Sauna Weight Loss Benefits
As mentioned, using a sauna alone may not produce dramatic weight loss results. However, it can complement a healthy lifestyle and enhance the effects of exercise and diet. Here is how a sauna can help you lose weight.
Water Weight Loss
Water weight loss is the most immediate benefit of a sauna. The heat in the sauna will make you sweat heavily and lead to a loss of water in the body. Depending on how much water you are carrying and your starting weight, you can lose up to 4 pounds in a single sauna session.
However, losing water through sweating is not permanent. You will gain most of the weight back once you eat or drink water to replenish your hydration after your sauna session. However, if you need to lose a few pounds quickly for a short-term goal, a good sauna session can help. For instance, you can use a sauna if you need to drop a few pounds for a photo shoot or sports weigh-in.
Sweat comprises a lymphatic fluid, which helps to remove impurities and toxins from our bodies. Therefore, sweating helps us to expel unwanted things from our bodies. Unfortunately, the average daily activities for most people do not generate enough sweat to get rid of these unwanted substances.
A good sauna session will lead to a lot of sweating and make you sweat out a lot of impurities and toxins. Sweating also helps remove heavy metals from our bodies, such as zinc, lead, nickel, and copper.
Detoxification will help clear out your lymphatic system and help the body burn more fat effectively. This will boost your energy so you can exercise more. As a result, you will lose weight faster.
When you expose your body to intense heat (or even cold), you force it to work harder. As a result, your heart rate will increase by up to 30%. This will increase your metabolism and help the body burn more calories.
According to experts, the high heat of a sauna can boost your metabolic rate by close to 20%. The effect will last during the sauna session and for several hours afterward. You can try to work up to a thirty-minute sauna every day to keep the fat-burning effects going.
You also drink a glass or two glasses of cold water before your sauna session. This will make the body work harder to regulate the temperature. As a result, you will burn more calories. Generally, when you make your body work harder to cool down, more heat is released, which results in calorie burn.
Stress is a normal physical and psychological reaction to the demands of life. While a small amount of stress can motivate you to perform well and meet your goals, too much stress can contribute to many health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Tension or stress will encourage you to eat more and increase the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which is linked to weight gain. Stress hormones make your body crave calories and make it difficult to shed weight.
Sauna sessions offer time to relax and destress. While in the sauna, you will be forced to breathe deeply and release tension. This will help you exit the state of flight or fight. When you calm down, you will not produce so much cortisol. In addition, people with lower stress levels are more likely to engage in healthy activities.
Increased Exercise Ability
Breathing capacity is one of the main barriers to effective exercise. Sauna sessions can help reduce the impacts of respiratory problems and boost respiratory function. It can also increase the vasodilator’s production of nitric oxide. Vasodilators dilate blood vessels which increases blood circulation. This can enhance your exercise capability and enable you to work out more intensively.
Joint and Muscle Pain Relief
If you are on a weight loss journey, you will want to work out more often to see the best results. However, too much exercise, especially if you are a beginner, can lead to joint and muscle pains which might stop you from hitting the gym.
A good sauna session after a workout can help relieve the pain. The sauna heat will make your body produce more white blood cells and reduce muscle inflammation. This will relieve pain and make you do more exercise to achieve your weight loss goals.
Did you know that poor sleep quality or lack of sleep can make you feel stressed and increase hunger hormones? Feeling tired also means you have less energy to exercise. A sauna session will offer relaxation and put you into a restful state. This can carry on throughout your busy day and help you have a better night’s sleep.
Safety Tips For Losing Weight With Sauna Use
While saunas can be used for weight loss, it is important to consider your safety and health before using your sauna. Here are a few tips to help you lose weight safely.
A sauna session will help you lose water weight through sweating. Sweating also helps release toxins through sweat pores. However, it also makes your body lose important minerals, which is why dehydration is important.
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Therefore, you should rehydrate before, during, and after every sauna session. A glass of water before a sauna session will be okay. Also, you can drink electrolyte-rich sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, to rehydrate and replace lost electrolytes.
Dehydration signs include:
Feeling extremely thirsty
A lack of normal urination
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
Use the Sauna at the Right Times
You should only use your sauna after a workout – this can help soothe muscles and reduce strain. Since using a sauna can cause dehydration, working out in this state can make you become dizzy or faint. It can also lead to heatstroke. Also, since your body becomes very relaxed in the sauna, it can be difficult to work out immediately after a sauna session.
Work Your Way Up to Longer Sessions
If you are a beginner, you should avoid staying in your sauna for too long. Longer sauna sessions can make you feel lightheaded and even faint because your body is not used to too much heat. You can start with a 5-minute session per week and work your way up.
The first session will help you determine how sensitive your body is to heat. You can then work your way up to two or three 15-minute sessions per week. With time, you will find your daily sauna sessions enjoyable and easier to manage. Tolerance varies from one person to another. Even if you are experienced, you should avoid staying in your sauna for over 20 minutes at once.
Does a Sauna Help You Lose Weight? Yes!
As you’ve read in this article, an outdoor sauna can be a beneficial tool for anyone hoping to lose weight. It can help you lose water weight through sweating and boost your metabolism to enhance the faster burning of fat and calories. It can also help you lose weight through stress reduction and detoxification.
However, it is important to understand that your sauna will not produce weight loss miracles on its own. You will need to accompany your sauna sessions with a healthy lifestyle and exercise to reap the maximum benefits.