They have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Gwyneth Paltrow is supposedly a fan, but could an infrared sauna help wight loss?
It is claimed that using one could help to burn calories. Would we recommend it or is it another fad that is best avoided? Lets discover the truth.
How does an infrared sauna work?
Unlike a traditional sauna that works at temperatures of above 70c, making you sweat. The infrared sauna works at a much cooler temperature (around 38c, but often much lower still).
What makes it work more effectively though is the use of infrared radiation, which can penetrate your skin.
This lower temperature will allow you to stay in the sauna without feeling as though you are going to pass out, which is a common complaint with a traditional sauna.
How can an infrared sauna burn calories?
If you wish to lose weight then diet and exercise are recommended, however research has shown that it is certainly possible to burn between 200-600 calories per session in the infrared sauna.
The research has also shown that those who are heaviest are able to burn off the most calories.
You are able to burn off these calories as the use of this type of sauna will elevate your heart rate in a similar fashion as exercise. This results in a boost to your metabolism.
Other benefits of an infrared sauna?
Like a standard sauna, they can help clear toxins, which will help clear your skin.
Research has also shown that they can help to reduce inflammation. It can do this by increasing blood flow as your body heats up, resulting in more blood flow to certain areas.
This effect can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Who should avoid using an infrared sauna?
Not everyone should use an infrared sauna. Those who are pregnant, nursing, have an infection, are prone to dehydration, or suffer from hypertension, cancer or multiple sclerosis are all advised not to use one.
It is also recommended that you are properly hydrated before entering, not only for your own safety, but also to ensure the full benefits are experienced.
How much would a session cost?
The cost will vary, although it is likely to be above £30 for a 30 minute session.
Our opinion on the weight loss benefits of an infrared sauna
While this method undoubtedly works, is it worth the expense?
For the average person, £30 for a 30 minute session will be too much. Especially just to burn 200-600 calories.
You are probably better off sticking to just diet and exercise unfortunately.