Although the word sauna originates from Finland, the very first sauna were used by the Yolngu tribe in Australia. The first saunas in Europe however did originate in Finland, where people used them once a week to clean themselves (bathing was quite rare in those days). They went on to become permanent fixtures in many Scandinavian homes.
How Does A Sauna Work?
A sauna is a room which is designed to reach high temperatures and is used for therapeutic reasons or simply for relaxation. A sauna is essentially a steam room which has a pile of rocks sat on a fire. water is poured on to the rocks to create the steam. The temperatures in a sauna can reach as high as 150 degrees (f). There are also other types of saunas which use electric heat or fires, but what are the benefits of using them?
The Health Benefits Of Using A Sauna
A sauna exposes your body to extreme heat, this makes you sweat a lot which helps to flush toxins from your body. A sauna also lowers your blood pressure and makes your heart beat a little quicker, giving it a gentle cardiovascular workout. The heat of the sauna stimulates increased blood flow in the body, this aids muscle relaxation and increases the flow of oxygen to them. You have to keep yourself hydrated in a sauna (so avoid alcohol) and be careful about how quickly you move and get up in the sauna, as the lowered blood pressure can make you light headed. But amongst all those benefits, can I sauna aid weight loss?
Is A Sauna Good For Weight Loss?
There is good news and bad news when it comes to using a sauna for weight loss. The good news is that you will lose weight when you are in the sauna, but the bad news is that the majority of this weight loss is temporary and will soon return. The reason is that most of the weight is lost through sweating, and therefore lost fluids. This weight will come back when you start drinking to re-hydrate your body. However due to heart beating faster while in the sauna (due to the increased blood flow), you will burn calories in a sauna. This amount will be similar to what you would burn while walking. Using a sauna can also help to reduce stress levels which is good news for your weight, as a lot of people tend to over eat when stressed and turn to unhealthy foods (emotional eating).
So a sauna is good for weight loss, it may not burn as many calories as a cardio exercise workout, but it is an enjoyable and relaxing experience.