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Infrared vs. Traditional Saunas: Which Burns More Calories for Weight Loss?


Time to read 2 min

Saunas have long been a sought-after solution for relaxation, detoxification, and holistic well-being. Recently, their potential weight loss benefits have surged in popularity. The heated debate between infrared and traditional saunas seeks to answer one crucial question: which one might help you burn more calories and thereby aid your weight loss journey? As we address this, it's worth noting that our range of indoor saunas can offer a tailor-fit solution to these questions.

1. The Core Differences: Infrared vs. Traditional Saunas

Firstly, let's explore how weight loss even works in a sauna - what is it that makes your body burn calories so fast when sauna bathing?

  • Saunas help in calorie burn because the body works harder to cool itself down when exposed to the heat, leading to an increased heart rate and, by extension, calorie burn. Some studies suggest that the cardiovascular demands of thermoregulation (or the body's cooling process) does result in some calorie burn.
  • Infrared Saunas:

    • Heat Source: Directly heats the body using infrared light waves.
    • Temperature: Typically ranges between 120°F and 140°F, making them a comfortable option for many.
  • Traditional Saunas:

    • Heat Source: Uses sources like wood or electricity to warm the air, indirectly heating the body.
    • Temperature: Soars higher, between 150°F and 200°F.

2. Caloric Burn: Numbers Matter

  • Infrared Saunas:

    • An average session can burn anywhere between 200-600 calories in 30 minutes.
    • The deeper penetration of infrared heat increases the metabolic rate, translating to calories burned. (The deeper penetration also leads to more toxins being released through the sweat.)
  • Traditional Saunas:

    • You can expect to burn around 150-500 calories during a 30-minute session, depending on intensity.
    • The sweat-induced calorie burn primarily stems from water weight, making it a quick yet temporary weight loss solution.

3. Weight Loss Implications

Infrared saunas, with their deeper heating, offer more sustainable weight loss, targeting fats and toxins. Traditional saunas, while effective, often lead to temporary weight loss results, primarily from water weight. If you're wondering which sauna type might be the right fit for your weight loss goals, explore our infrared sauna range here. Alternatively, if you cannot decide and want the best of both traditional and infrared saunas, then we'd highly recommend you to explore our hybrid sauna offerings here.

4. Beyond Weight Loss: Health Perks

Both sauna types offer more than just weight loss:

  • Infrared Saunas:

    • Renowned for deeper detoxification.
    • Provides muscle relief, especially after intense workouts.
  • Traditional Saunas:

    • Enhances skin health through profuse sweating.
    • The moist environment can be a boon for those with respiratory issues.

5. Crafting Your Sauna Weight Loss Regimen

  • Frequency: Consistency is vital. Consider integrating sauna sessions into your routine, targeting 3-4 times per week.

  • Duration: Moderation is key. Begin with 15 minutes and, over time, work your way up to 30 minutes. But remember to always consult a health professional before making drastic changes.

  • Hydration: Sweating in a sauna can lead to dehydration. Ensure you hydrate adequately.

  • Complementary Activities: Maximize your sauna benefits by pairing sessions with light exercises like chromotherapy. And, if you're on the lookout for saunas that can best support your wellness routine, check out our offerings from Golden Designs Saunas here.

6. The Verdict: Which Sauna is Best for Weight Loss?

Both infrared and traditional saunas have their unique merits. If sustainable weight loss coupled with deep detoxification is your aim, infrared might be slightly superior. However, traditional saunas shouldn't be discounted, given their range of health benefits.

In your quest for better health and weight loss, remember that saunas are a tool that should complement a balanced lifestyle. For a more in-depth exploration of which sauna type might be best suited for your needs, explore our expertly curated range.