Many of us struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. About 1 in 3 American adults is considered obese, and another 1 in 3 are overweight. Childhood obesity is also on the rise, with about 17% of children now considered obese, three times higher than in the 1990s. (American Cancer Society, 2019). We all know that excess weight contributes to a host of health problems including heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and higher mortality rates. While exercise and a healthy diet are key to maintaining a healthy weight, many people still struggle to achieve their desired healthy weight.
One possible adjunct to a weight loss program may be infrared sauna. Many people have touted weight loss after sauna use; however, the immediate weight loss effect after sauna bathing is water loss from sweating, which is different from fat loss and is gained back after rehydrating. In fact, staying hydrated is very important when using a sauna! But what about the effects of using a sauna regularly to boost metabolism? Recent research has found that saunas may do just that, mimic the effects of exercise in our bodies and aid in weight loss. A meta-analysis of several studies on sauna use found that regular sauna use can indeed boost metabolism by inducing heat stress which effects a myriad of systems in the body (Hussain & Cohen, 2018). Several of the studies indicate that cardiovascular effects of sauna such as sweating, increased heart rate, and improved circulation can also help the body to lose fat by mimicking the effects of exercise.
Now, that doesn’t mean we can skip the gym and sit in a sauna instead (wishful thinking!). But regular trips to the sauna can improve the effects of exercise. In one controlled, randomized study, patients who were considered obese were assigned just 15 minutes of exercise with and without 30 minutes in a sauna three times a week. The group that also used the sauna in addition to exercise lost 1.8 times as much weight and 4.6 times as much body fat as the group that only used exercise alone (Crinnon, 2011).
If you would like to add the benefits of infrared sauna to your healthy lifestyle in the new year, call the Salt Oasis Kingsport to schedule an appointment.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. Do not make any changes to your healthcare or treatment without consulting your physician.
American Cancer Society, 2019. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/health-issues.html
Hussain, J., & Cohen, M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2018, 1857413. doi:10.1155/2018/1857413
Crinnon W, 2011. Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant-induced and other chronic health problems. Alternative Medicine Review. 16(3):215-225.