Saunas can help you burn 1.5 to 2 times the number of calories you would burn ideally sitting at home. Use our calories burned in the sauna calculator to find out how and if saunas are good for losing extra fat.
Saunas are overrated among fitness enthusiasts. Many believe exposing their body to heat can help them lose weight quickly. Recently, I came across an article where the author claimed that a 30-minute sauna session can burn up to 1000 calories! Now, anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of workouts and calories would be able to tell that this can’t be true. You can hardly burn 14-15 calories doing one minute of high-intensity exercise, so how could it be possibly true that you can burn 30 calories per minute doing nothing in the sauna?
Don’t get misguided by such false information. Use our calories burned in the sauna calculator to find out exactly what you can expect from your sauna session and what you need to do to meet your daily calorie goals. Keep reading this article to learn more about the scientific formula we have used in our calories burned in the sauna calculator and other relevant information.
💡 Quick Tip: Don’t have enough space to accommodate a full-size sauna in your home? HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket offers the same benefit. It comes with different temperature settings and a handheld control for your convenience.
HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket
Our calories burned in the sauna calculator
How many calories can you burn in a sauna?
Our calories burned in the sauna calculator uses the simplest and yet most accurate formula, which is-
Calories burned in sauna = 1.5 X number of calories burned while sitting X number of minutes
Don’t know how many calories you burn while sitting? That's your basal metabolic rate (BMR). It is the number of calories you spend when you simply sit and let your body do its primary functions such as breathing, keeping you warm, digesting food, etc. You can calculate your BMR using the below formula-
BMR for men= 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
BMR for women= 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
Alternatively, you can use any of the numerous BMR calculators online to find out how much energy your body needs per minute to simply conduct its basic functioning. Or you can simply use our calories burned in the sauna calculator. It will automatically calculate your BMR and provide you with the most accurate result.
📖 Related Article: Not just sauna, working out in cold temperatures also helps you burn more calories than usual. Contrary to what you may have heard, exercising outdoors is absolutely safe even when it's pretty cold. This article has all the information you need to understand ‘What Temperature is Too Cold to Workout in Your Garage or Outside Gym?’
Things you need to know to determine how many calories you can burn in the sauna
When you use a sauna, you expose your body to a high temperature. Your body then starts working hard to keep itself cool, pushing your heart to work harder. Increased heart rate is directly related to the number of calories burned. That's why it is claimed that saunas can help you burn 1.5 to 2 times more calories.
A study conducted by Binghamton University in New York (1) has claimed that people who use saunas at least thrice a week can reduce their body fat index by 4% within four months. While this sounds quite a promising option to people who have been struggling to lose extra pounds, you must understand the risks associated with the use of saunas. Plus, saunas are not compensation for exercise.
Temperature affects the number of calories burned in the sauna
The hotter it gets, the more your body sweats to keep it cool. To do this, your body burns 1.5 to 2 times the number of calories that it would burn otherwise. If you are using a sauna at a moderate temperature, you may burn 1.5 X BMR X number of minutes. If you are using a high-temperature setting, you may burn 2 X BMR X number of minutes.
💡 Quick Tip: Came across this compact, portable, foldable SereneLife SLISAU35BK Full Size Steam Sauna. It is great for average-size homes and apartments where you can’t have a dedicated sauna room. The assembly process is quick and easy so you won’t mind using it every other day.
SereneLife SLISAU35BK Full Size Steam Sauna
Infrared saunas may burn more calories than dry or steam sauna
There is very little evidence available so far but celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams have claimed that infrared sauna such as Dynamic Barcelona Hemlock Wood Infrared Sauna For Home help burn 10 times more calories (2) than the standard options such as Durasage Lightweight Portable Steam Sauna. This is because infrared saunas do not heat up the sauna room. Instead, the infrared light directly penetrates the user’s body (3), causing it to heat up and start sweating. This helps target the fat tissues directly.
The claims (4) are too good to be true but infrared saunas may be more effective for torching extra calories than dry, wood, or steam saunas.
The time of the day affects the number of calories you burn in sauna
A study conducted by Binghamton University has found that people who use saunas in the afternoon or evening burn twice the number of calories as those who use them in the morning. This study alone is insufficient to conclude anything but saunas, just like any other workout, are best to be done in the evening.
Saunas can help you burn some extra calories but they can’t compensate for exercise
Who wouldn’t love the idea of torching 600 calories in 30 minutes by doing nothing but sitting and reading your favorite book?
Even if these claims are true, saunas are still not a great way to lose weight. You are sitting ideally in the room. You are not exercising, you are moving your muscles, you are not building muscles. You are simply sweating. Maybe your heart is working hard to keep you cool but your muscles aren’t doing anything.
Most of the weight you lose using hot boxes is usually water weight that you may quickly regain after hydration. Plus, even if you are burning calories, the weight loss is still temporary. You will regain the fat if you do not exercise enough or improve your food habits. I am not against the use of saunas for fat loss. I just want you to understand that a good lifestyle is the only sustainable, long-term solution to having good health.
💡 Quick Tip: Looking for a portable, home-friendly, travel-friendly infrared sauna? LifePro Sauna Blanket is a good choice for people who travel a lot and still want to get all the benefits of saunas.
LifePro Sauna Blanket
Saunas can, however, help you lose weight in other ways
These hot boxes can help reduce your overall stress level, which reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. A high amount of cortisol in the bloodstream is often associated with overeating, craving, weight gain, high blood sugar, muscle weakness, etc.
Numerous studies have concluded that saunas are one of the best stress-relieving therapies. Their regular use can help reduce your stress level and promote optimal cortisol production. The hot boxes can prevent and reduce stress-related weight gain and fat retention other than helping you burn 1.5 times more calories.
📖 Related Article: If you are too watchful about your calories, weight, or overall health, you may be interested in our article on The Best Fitness Trackers for Weight Watchers.
How to burn more calories in Sauna
If you want to torch more calories than what our calories burned in the sauna calculator has calculated for you, here are some tips to keep in mind-
- As I have already mentioned above, try to use saunas later in the day. 3 PM to 5 PM is the ideal time but you can do it whenever you get the chance.
- Hydrate yourself before entering the sauna room. Without proper hydration, you may start feeling dizzy and may even faint due to dehydration. Such incidents may make you doubt the effectiveness of the session. You may not feel like doing it again.
- Keep your session short. Start with 10 and limit your session to not more than 30 minutes. Longer sessions can be damaging even though they may help you burn a few extra calories.
- Consistently monitor yourself while in the sauna and come out of it if you feel even slightly uncomfortable. You can do multiple sessions in a day if needed.
- Saunas are not for everyone. Contact your healthcare practitioner to find out if it is safe for you.
Spending time in the steam room can be rewarding, especially after a demanding workout or a hard and stressful day. Just make sure you don’t use it for compensating exercise even if it helps you burn almost the same number of calories as walking at a moderate speed.
If you like our calories burned in the sauna calculator, you may try our other calculators such as Reverse BMI calculator, Calories Burned Skiing Calculator, Calories Burned Shoveling Snow Calculator, YMCA Body Fat Calculator, and many more.
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