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Can Sitting In A Sauna Help You Lose Weight?


"Can sitting in a sauna help you lose weight?" That is one of the most common questions we get here at Sun Valley Saunas.  While the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!", regular sauna use is best viewed as just one small part of a healthy lifestyle to help you lose weight.  In conjunction with regular exercise, healthy eating and good quality sleep, sitting in a sauna has it's own unique benefits to help you capitalize on a healthy lifestyle.  For instance, you burn more calories while sitting in a sauna, which helps you burn fat.  This is caused in part by an increase in cardiovascular activity.    

The more you use your sauna, the less stress and anxiety you experience.  All of these things contribute to losing weight and getting healthier in their own way.     



Sitting in a sauna makes you sweat and burn calories.  Burning calories can lead to fat loss, which leads to weight loss.  While the science isn't totally clear on how many calories you can burn sitting in a sauna, the lowest estimates suggest that you burn about twice as many calories sitting in a sauna as you would just sitting down outside a sauna.  This is generally around 150-200 calories per hour for the average 150-175lb person.  On the high side, some estimates suggest you can burn up to 600 calories per hour in a sauna.  That would especially be true if you're active in the sauna, doing yoga, stretching or light aerobic activity.  

While it's clear that sitting in a sauna promotes an increase in burning calories, that might not necessarily mean you're actually burning fat.  



Just because you are burning calories doesn't necessarily mean you're burning fat while sitting in your sauna.  During moderate exercise or cardiovascular activity, our bodies burn carbohydrates and expel water weight.  You can actually sweat out up to a pint of water while sitting in a sauna for a half hour. 

To burn fat you need to get to a sustained level of cardiovascular activity over an extended period of time.  While it's difficult to get to the point of burning fat just sitting in a sauna, jumping in a sauna after you workout can actually cause your body to stay in fat burning mode and extend the positive effects of your workout.  

So, next time you're at the gym, instead of walking past the sauna after your workout, hop in for 15-20 minutes and extend that fat loss! Gym saunas are totally underrated.  



As stated above, there is plenty of evidence that sitting in a sauna can directly help you lose weight, but the real benefits compound when you pair regular sauna use with other healthy habits.  For instance, not only does a post-workout sauna session continue to burn fat, it can help ease sore muscles, expel built up lactic acid and help with recovery for the next workout - especially when paired with alternating ice baths.  Just ask Tony Robbins!  

Sitting in a sauna can also help with depression, hypertension, cardiovascular health and inflammation.  Those are just a few things sauna is good for! And when these things are all optimized you're much more likely to eat healthy, workout and sleep well.  So not only can regular sauna use help you lose weight, it can help you get healthier in all aspects of your life.  



While it's clear that sitting in a sauna can help you lose weight, don't expect to just sit in a sauna and watch your waistline shrink.  Use that gym sauna after your workout! Regular sauna use is a great addition to other healthy habits, such as consistent exercise, healthy eating and moderate alcohol consumption.  To help lose weight, sitting in a sauna after you workout may be the most effective approach as it promotes fat loss even after you're done working out.