Research infrared saunas for any amount of time, and you’re going to see claims for weight loss. Some of them sound too good to be true because, well, they are!
Salus Saunas is the only sauna company that will tell you saunas will not make you skinny.
Can you lose weight using an infrared sauna?
You can sweat off a few pounds in a sauna. Depending on time and duration, the average person loses around one pint of fluid (which weighs about a pound) in a sauna session. That’s according to Harvard Medical School.
Some athletes, including those with whom we have a relationship, use saunas to drop weight to meet guidelines for sports events. Do not try this without professional/medical supervision.
The thing about losing water weight is that when you drink water again, you’ll probably regain it.
So, if you want to lose a pound or two before a big event, a few sauna sessions in the days before could help.
But don’t lose heart, the sauna can help you lose weight because of other effects it has on your body and your mind!
Sitting in the sauna at around 150F boosts metabolism around 20%. The effect can continue for a couple of hours after your sauna session.
In a study from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the elevated heart rate effects can last 30 min after the sauna session.
Stress Control & Cortisol
We all know saunas are sublime stress relievers. Stressing less can extend to outside the sauna as well. When you are stressed, the body releases cortisol, a type of hormone. Cortisol can cause the body to work inefficiently and cause cravings.
So, if you’re under stress or are a stress eater, try regular sauna sessions!
Ability to Exercise More
Aches and Pain
Let’s face it, for most of us, if something hurts, we’re not moving it. The sauna’s ability to decrease pain and increase range of motion can make it easier to exercise.
Spending time in the sauna can help you breathe better. The heat reduces the effects of respiratory problems and dilates blood vessels, which increases blood flow. This means you can exercise harder or longer over time, which leads to increased weight loss.
Sauna companies like to point to a Binghamton University study that they say proves infrared saunas help people lose weight. In the study, people used an infrared sauna three times per week for 45 minutes had up to a 4 percent drop in body fat after four months. So, for someone who is 200 pounds, that’s only 8 pounds. However, the researchers did not account for participants’ other behaviors such as diet or exercise. So it’s hard to be sure that infrared saunas were the cause.
Incorporating an infrared sauna as part of a healthier lifestyle will probably cause you to lose a few pounds, but it takes hard work and a healthy lifestyle.
Check out our other online information on weight loss.
Start with 15 to 20-minute sessions twice a week and build up from there. The easiest way to do this is to invest in a sauna for your home. Are you ready to invest in your health? Contact us or check out
- Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Measurable Health Benefits? A Sequential Longitudinal Interrupted Time Series Design Study. 2009. Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Cardiovascular Benefits in People with Type 2 Diabetes? Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2010; 34 (2) :113 – 118.
- Journal of the American Medical Association, August 1981.
- Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD, et al. Repeated Thermal Therapy Improves Impaired Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Coronary Risk Factors. Vol. 38, No. 4, 2001. Journal of American College of Cardiology: pp 1083-1088.Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Measurable Health Benefits? A Sequential Longitudinal Interrupted Time Series Design Study. 2009. Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Cardiovascular Benefits in People with Type 2 Diabetes? Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2010; 34 (2) :113 – 118.