9 Surprising Weight Loss Benefits of a Sauna

by Millie
sauna for weight loss

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We all know how tough it is to lose weight. Whether we’re trying to drop a few pounds for an upcoming event or we’re looking to make a long-term lifestyle change, the process can be grueling. But what if there was a way to help you lose weight that was also enjoyable?

Enter the sauna. Saunas have been used for centuries for relaxation, but recent studies have shown that there are some significant weight loss benefits of a sauna.

While saunas will not cause you to lose much weight on their own, regular sauna sessions can be an effective tool when used in conjunction with other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise. Keep reading to discover the amazing weight loss benefits of saunas.

Surprising Weight Loss Benefits of a Sauna

2 women enjoying the weight loss benefits of a sauna
Boost your weight loss with regular sauna sessions

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to consider adding a sauna to your routine. In an extensive study done by Binghamton University, participants saw up to 4% fat loss over four months in the first phase of the study when 

In the study’s second phase, subjects experienced 0.25% in body fat for the eight weeks of this stage. While the control group saw no change in body fat percentage.

This impressive fat loss may be because saunas can help increase your metabolism, detoxify, reduce inflammation, increase exercise capacity, and more. All of which can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Water Loss

The sauna is a great way to lose water weight. When you are in the sauna, your body sweats and eliminates all the water weight. This can lead to a significant loss in a short period of time.

However, this is not an effective weight loss strategy since you will regain most, if not all of the weight back once to rehydrate. The following benefits of a sauna are much better for long-term weight loss.

Increase Metabolism

Regular saunas are great for stimulating your metabolism and increasing your heart rate. When you expose yourself to extreme temperatures, your body has to work harder to keep itself regulated. This extra work lasts for a couple of hours afterward, burns calories, and helps you to lose weight.

Increase Exercise Capacity

One of the issues that can hold you back from getting the full benefits of working out is your breathing capacity. However, if you spend time in the sauna, it can help lessen the effects of respiratory problems and improve your respiratory function. 

Saunas can raise your exercise capacity so you can work out more intensely or for longer, which then leads to better weight loss.


In a sauna you sweat a lot, detox, and clear out the lymphatic system, The lymphatic system helps the body get rid of toxins, heavy metals, and waste as well as move fats and other nutrients out of the body. When your body is better able to get rid of stored fat you can boost your fat loss and weight loss.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps your body heal. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it can damage our bodies and lead to weight gain and obesity. One of the ways in which saunas can improve health is by reducing inflammation which can help to promote weight loss.

Support Endocrine System

The endocrine system is where your thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands live, and it’s also responsible for controlling your metabolism. When your endocrine system isn’t balanced, you tend to store more fat around your middle, and it’s harder to lose weight even when you’re eating well and exercising.

However, saunas can help. The high heat leads to more adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands production, which energizes your body and increases your metabolism. And once again, enhancing your weight loss efforts.

Muscle and Joint Pain Relief

If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably exercise a lot to see results. But all that working out can lead to sore muscles and joint pain that might make you skip the gym.

However, saunas can help with that. The heat makes your body create more white blood cells, which can reduce muscle and joint inflammation and help them heal. Allowing you to workout with fewer issues and supporting your weight loss journey.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a major cause of weight gain and an obstacle to weight loss. Tension motivates you to eat and boosts the production of cortisol, which makes your body crave calories and makes it difficult to lose weight. 

According to research, saunas reduce stress and lower cortisol levels in the body. Enjoying a sauna can help you get into a meditative state, reduce stress, and release endorphins. The happy hormones counteract cortisol. 

Those with lower stress levels are less likely to overeat and more likely to engage in healthy activities. Using the sauna to reduce your stress levels will be great for your weight loss success. 

Better Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep it can affect your hunger hormones, make you feel stressed, and cause you to make bad food choices and eat more. Being tired also means you have less energy to work out.

Saunas can help you relax, putting you at ease and into a restful state. These effects can carry on throughout your day and help you sleep better at night. Which can help you avoid the effects of sleep deprivation on your weight.

Other Health Benefits of Saunas

man and woman in a sauna
A sauna can also improve your overall health

Lower Cholesterol

Another health benefit of saunas is that they can lower cholesterol. This is believed to be due to the heat exposure causing damage to the cell membranes of the cholesterol particles, making them less able to circulate in the body. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Recent studies have shown that saunas can also have a positive effect on blood pressure. In one study, participants who used a sauna for a 30-minute session had a significant drop in blood pressure, and the effect lasted for up to 24 hours.

The high temps in a sauna make your blood vessels open up and get closer to the surface of your skin. This makes your circulation better and lowers your blood pressure.

Improved Heart Health

According to Harvard Medical School, saunas can be beneficial for your heart. Thanks to the dry heat, your heart rate increases by as much as 30% and nearly doubles the blood flow every minute. 

Other studies have found that sitting in a sauna has a physiological effect similar to running, swimming, cycling, and other moderate and high-intensity exercises.

Types of Saunas

sauna accessories in a sauna
There are 4 main types of saunas

Saunas come in all shapes and sizes, and there are many different types of saunas to choose from. The weight loss benefits are essentially the same so it doesn’t really matter which one you use. 

Here is a quick rundown of the most popular types of saunas on the market.

1. Traditional Saunas: These saunas use wood or charcoal to create heat, and they’re a popular choice for people who want the authentic sauna experience. 

2. Infrared Saunas: An Infrared sauna session uses infrared light waves to heat the body, not the room.

3. Steam Room: A steam sauna uses steam to provide heat and is usually more humid than other types of saunas.

4. Electrically Heated Sauna: Electrically heated saunas use an electric heater and provide high temperatures, but low humidity.

Tips and Precautions of Sauna Use for Weight Loss

white robe in a sauna
It’s easy to start using a sauna for weight loss

To get started, you’ll need to find a sauna that you can use on a regular basis. Once you have a sauna, you can start using it for weight loss by following these tips:

  • Proper hydration is essential. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after using the sauna to avoid dehydration.
  • If you are new to using a sauna start with only 5 minutes and slowly increase your sessions to 15 – 20 minutes at a time.
  • Avoid eating before using the sauna, as this can make you feel sick.
  • Avoid alcohol as it could cause you to overheat during and after your session.
  • It’s best to use the sauna after your workout, rather than before.
  • Saunas can be used multiple times per week for weight loss, but be sure to listen to your body and stop if feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Ready to Start Using a Sauna for Weight Loss?

woman in a sauna
Ready to start using a sauna for weight loss?

So as you have read, there are many benefits of using a sauna for weight loss. Of course, you still have to watch your calorie intake and have regular physical activity. Furthermore, it’s important to check with your doctor before using a sauna, especially if you have any medical conditions.

If you are looking for a relaxing weight loss aid, then add saunas to your list. The heat helps to boost a slower metabolism and burn calories. Heavy sweating also helps to detoxify your body and remove stored fat. Regular sauna use can also boost your weight loss by reducing inflammation and increasing your exercise capacity. 

Saunas can also increase your overall health by reducing stress and improving sleep. Plus regular use may be beneficial for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. So what are you waiting for? Start your weight loss sauna sessions today and get to a healthy weight! 

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