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TOPIC: Do you burn calories in a Sauna

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June 2, 2011 7:02 AM
I have read many different things! Can anybody tell me if you actually do burn calories sitting in a sauna? I usually sit in it for 30 minutes at 130-146 degrees..Should I log this or just consider it a bonus?
  5278714
June 2, 2011 7:04 AM
No. Likely, you burn less calories than normal because your heart rate slows down.
June 2, 2011 7:05 AM
Sitting.... I think that is the key point so no I would not expect any calories to be burnt, other than the few that you would naturally burn just by living and breathing!

I always understood that any weight loss from a sauna was due to sweating - i.e. water loss
  1157304
June 2, 2011 7:06 AM
I am not sure if you do either, however I would think that your heart rate would go up to cool your body.
  3029497
June 2, 2011 7:09 AM
No you don't burn calories in a sauna, at least no more than your BMR which covers the basics such as breathing, heart pumping, thinking etc.

In fact some of your BMR is expended on keeping your core temperature up, so I fully expect that you'd actually burn fewer calories sitting in a sauna than you would sitting at home.
  6288475
June 2, 2011 7:15 AM
Your heart rate does go up as it is compensating for the heat. My heart rate will go up to about 120 while sitting there. When I get out, it spikes to 130ish. Which the higher the heart rate, the more calories your burn. Now is it productive calorie burn? Probably not.

Not sure if sitting in there that long is good. Be sure to drink lots of water afterwards to compensate for the water loss. My personal trainer tells me to sit in there for 10-15 mins to flush toxins from the body.
June 2, 2011 7:16 AM
I think the sauna actually helps you release the toxins in your body through your sweat. Getting a massage does too (bonus!). That's why you have to drink water after.
  7541779
June 2, 2011 7:36 AM
QUOTE:
Which the higher the heart rate, the more calories your burn.
Unfortunately that is not correct, there is no direct relationship between the heart rate and calories burned. Apart, of course, from the tiny amount burned by the heart itself which after all is a muscle. If someone creeps up behind you and says "Boo" your heart rate may rise, but you haven't just burned a bunch of calories, just because your heart rate has gone up.

Heart rate monitors are able to estimate the amount of calories burned **during exercise which causes the heart rate to rise** purely because exercise raises the heart rate by a fairly predictable amount.

However, it is not the heart rate being elevated per se which burns the calories.

So, for instance, if you were sat perfectly still and relaxed strapped into in a rollercoaster, scared out of your wits with your heart banging away, you wouldn't be burning calories at anything like the same rate as if you were running enough to make your heart rate rise to the same rate.
  6288475
June 2, 2011 7:39 AM
130 - 146 degrees?!? That sounds painful as hell!!
Edited by wewon On June 2, 2011 7:39 AM
June 2, 2011 7:46 AM
According to the Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology, you burn .568 calories to release 1g of sweat. This doesn't sound like much, but if you lose 1 pound of sweat, that would be 257 calories. I just attempted to do a quick search for sauna related weight loss, but didn't find any studies on it, though I'm sure they've been done. One study i did find showed that people's heart rates ranged in the 140's in the sauna for 20 minutes and averaged a pound lost.
June 2, 2011 7:50 AM
Thank you everyone..I will not log sitting in the sauna. But i do enjoy it so i will keep on doing it..

Thanks Againwink
  5278714
June 2, 2011 7:51 AM
QUOTE:

130 - 146 degrees?!? That sounds painful as hell!!


Feels really good to have the heat penetrating deep into your bones..
  5278714
June 2, 2011 7:54 AM
QUOTE:

According to the Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology, you burn .568 calories to release 1g of sweat. This doesn't sound like much, but if you lose 1 pound of sweat, that would be 257 calories. I just attempted to do a quick search for sauna related weight loss, but didn't find any studies on it, though I'm sure they've been done. One study i did find showed that people's heart rates ranged in the 140's in the sauna for 20 minutes and averaged a pound lost.
Hmm. So I can lose weight by sitting in a hot bath and sweating! Sweet!
  6560354
June 2, 2011 8:45 AM
How do u sit in it for 30 mins!?

10/15 mins and I have to get out of there
June 2, 2011 8:47 AM
Sitting in an ice bath... now THAT would be a burn! bigsmile
  2967818
June 2, 2011 8:55 AM
I wouldn't count it as additonal burn. Just consider it a bonus. You would naturally burn about most of it just sitting around anyway.
Edited by RMinVA On June 2, 2011 8:56 AM
  1678302
June 2, 2011 9:50 AM
QUOTE:

How do u sit in it for 30 mins!?

10/15 mins and I have to get out of there


I just take my music and magazines in there and lose track of time..i love it! i love the heat
  5278714
September 28, 2012 7:33 PM
but what if you work out in a sauna? i lift weights (2 pounds) and do leg lifts and twisting exercises. It seems to be difficult. i also dance in the sauna to keep "working out" after I have done my eliptical workout prior to getting in.
September 28, 2012 7:34 PM
me too. love the heat. i was raised in arizona and am missing it. i love my sauna.
September 28, 2012 7:35 PM
No
September 28, 2012 7:38 PM
I'm pretty sure most saunas I have seen have warnings telling you not to exercise in there. 130 degrees for a while is OK for you, but if you are exerting yourself extra in that kind of temperatures you are on your way to overheating/heat injury.
September 28, 2012 7:41 PM
are you doing aerobics while in the sauna? maybe take a stationary bike in with you. sex in a sauna, that'd burn a few calories. Sitting on your backside getting a sweat on? Um, no. Nice thought though. On the plus side they're great for your complexion, muscle tension and even your lungs.
  27145096
September 28, 2012 7:43 PM
I live in Texas I couldnt imagine wanting to sweat from heat geez. Its like 120 in my truck to drive home.
September 28, 2012 7:46 PM
QUOTE:

130 - 146 degrees?!? That sounds painful as hell!!


It's just the air temperature. Air isn't a great conductor of heat. Now if you were in water with a temp of 130-146 degrees that would be dangerous.

I grew up with a sauna (wood fired stove) and we routinely took them at much higher temperatures than 130-146. You just don't stay in that long, take cooling breaks and for the really brave jump in some cold water or roll in the snow.
September 28, 2012 7:51 PM
I lose weight in the summertime when its 95 and above and humid - similar to the spa...I assume its mostly water weight...will return shortly...The body is trying to cool down...I assume relaxing in the spa does burn a few calories but its not enough to take the place of a 30 min run...

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