how many calories does an infrared sauna burn

Saunas have long been revered as a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. The heat and steam create an environment that promotes sweating and detoxification, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized. But did you know that saunas can also contribute to calorie burning? That’s right, while you’re enjoying the soothing warmth, your body is working hard to burn calories and boost your overall health. In this ultimate guide, we will explore the fascinating world of saunas and delve into the question: how many calories does a sauna burn? We will uncover the science behind sauna heat and its effects on the body, and discuss the factors that influence calorie burn in the sauna. Through a comprehensive analysis of various studies and research, we will also determine the average calorie burn in saunas based on different factors.

But before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to understand what exactly a sauna is. Derived from the Finnish word meaning “bathhouse,” a sauna is a small room or enclosed space designed to create a high-temperature environment. Traditionally, saunas were heated by burning wood or using hot stones, but modern saunas often use electric heaters or infrared technology.

Saunas offer a multitude of benefits beyond calorie burning. They have been known to aid in detoxification, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce stress. So, whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or simply unwind after a long day, the sauna might just be the perfect place for you.

Now that we have set the stage, let’s explore how saunas work and how they contribute to calorie burning.

How Saunas Work

Explanation of sauna heat and its effects on the body

Saunas have been used for centuries as a way to relax and unwind. But have you ever wondered how saunas actually work? Well, let’s dive into the science behind it.

Saunas work by creating a high-temperature environment, typically between 150 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit (65 and 90 degrees Celsius). The heat is generated by heating elements or hot rocks, which then radiate warmth throughout the sauna room. This intense heat causes your body to respond in several ways.

Firstly, when you step into a sauna, your body’s temperature naturally rises. This increase in body temperature triggers a series of physiological responses. Your blood vessels dilate, or widen, which improves blood flow and circulation. This increased circulation delivers oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs more efficiently, promoting overall health and well-being.

Furthermore, the intense heat from the sauna causes your body to sweat profusely. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down. As the sweat evaporates from your skin, it helps to regulate your body temperature. This natural cooling process also helps to cleanse your body by flushing out toxins and impurities through your skin.

In addition to the physical benefits, saunas also have a positive impact on your mental well-being. The heat and relaxation of the sauna can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Many people find that spending time in a sauna helps them to unwind and recharge, providing a much-needed escape from the hectic pace of everyday life.

It’s important to note that the effects of saunas can vary depending on the individual and the length of time spent in the sauna. Factors such as age, weight, and overall health can influence how your body responds to the sauna heat. Additionally, it’s crucial to listen to your body and not overdo it. Hydration is key when using a sauna, as the intense heat can cause you to lose a significant amount of water through sweating.

Now that we understand how saunas work and their effects on the body, let’s explore the burning question: Do saunas burn calories? Stay tuned for the next section to find out!

Does Sauna Burn Calories?

When it comes to burning calories, many people immediately think of activities like jogging, cycling, or weightlifting. However, did you know that spending time in a sauna can also contribute to calorie burn? That’s right! While saunas are primarily known for their relaxation and detoxification benefits, they can also help you shed some extra calories.

Understanding the Calorie Burning Process in the Sauna

To comprehend how saunas facilitate calorie burn, it’s important to understand how they work. Saunas are typically small rooms or enclosures that are heated to high temperatures, usually ranging from 150 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit (65 to 90 degrees Celsius). These elevated temperatures cause your body to react in various ways, leading to an increase in calorie expenditure.

When exposed to the intense heat of a sauna, your body’s core temperature rises. In response, your heart rate increases, causing your body to work harder to maintain its normal temperature. This increase in heart rate elevates your metabolism, leading to a higher calorie burn. In fact, spending just 15-20 minutes in a sauna can elevate your heart rate to a level similar to that of moderate-intensity exercise.

Factors That Affect Calorie Burn in the Sauna

The number of calories you burn in a sauna session can vary depending on several factors. These include:

1. Duration of Sauna Session: The longer you spend in a sauna, the more calories you are likely to burn. However, it’s important to remember that spending excessive time in a sauna can lead to dehydration and other health risks. It is recommended to limit sauna sessions to 15-30 minutes to reap the benefits without overexerting yourself.

2. Body Weight: Your body weight plays a role in determining the number of calories you burn in the sauna. Generally, the more you weigh, the more calories you are likely to burn. This is because larger bodies require more energy to maintain their core temperature in the heat.

3. Intensity of Sauna Heat: The intensity of the sauna heat can also impact your calorie burn. Higher temperatures typically lead to a greater increase in heart rate and metabolism, resulting in a higher calorie expenditure.

4. Individual Differences: It’s important to note that individuals may have different metabolic rates and responses to heat. Factors such as age, fitness level, and overall health can influence how many calories you burn in the sauna.

While spending time in a sauna can contribute to calorie burn, it’s important to remember that it should not be your sole method of weight loss or calorie expenditure. Incorporating a balanced diet and regular exercise into your routine is still essential for overall health and weight management.

In the next section, we will explore how many calories you can expect to burn during a sauna session, based on different studies and research. Stay tuned!

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How Many Calories Does a Sauna Burn?

When it comes to calorie burning, saunas have become a hot topic of discussion in recent years. Many people wonder just how effective sitting in a sauna can be for shedding those extra pounds. In this section, we will explore the different studies and research on sauna calorie burn and provide insights into the average calorie burn in saunas based on various factors.

Different Studies and Research on Sauna Calorie Burn

Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the calorie burn in saunas. One such study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that spending 30 minutes in a sauna can burn approximately 300-500 calories. This study involved participants of varying ages and fitness levels, making the results applicable to a wide range of individuals.

Another study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports examined the effects of sauna bathing on body weight and body composition. The researchers found that regular sauna use, combined with moderate exercise, led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat percentage. This suggests that saunas can contribute to overall calorie burn and weight management when used in conjunction with an active lifestyle.

Average Calorie Burn in Saunas Based on Different Factors

It’s important to note that the number of calories burned in a sauna can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the duration of sauna use, the temperature of the sauna, and individual characteristics such as weight, metabolism, and fitness level.

For instance, a person who weighs more will typically burn more calories in a sauna compared to someone who weighs less. Similarly, individuals with a higher metabolic rate may experience a greater calorie burn during sauna sessions.

To give you a general idea, here is a table that shows the average calorie burn for a 30-minute sauna session based on different body weights:

Body WeightCalories Burned (30 minutes)
150 lbs.300-400
180 lbs.360-480
210 lbs.420-560

Please keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the calorie burn from a sauna session is primarily due to increased heart rate and sweating, rather than intense physical activity.

In conclusion, saunas can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine, aiding in calorie burn and potential weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that saunas alone are not a substitute for a balanced diet and regular exercise. Incorporating sauna sessions into a healthy lifestyle can yield positive results, contributing to overall well-being and potentially enhancing weight management efforts.

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Other Benefits of Saunas

While the primary focus of saunas is often on the calorie-burning aspect, it’s important to note that they offer a range of other benefits as well. Let’s explore some of these additional advantages:


Saunas have long been recognized as a powerful tool for detoxification. When you sit in a sauna, your body temperature rises, causing you to sweat. This sweating helps to eliminate toxins from your body, such as heavy metals and chemicals. In fact, studies have shown that saunas can help to flush out harmful substances that have accumulated in your system over time.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Regular sauna use can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health. When you expose your body to the heat of a sauna, your blood vessels dilate, which increases blood flow and improves circulation. This can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, saunas have been found to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a compound that helps to relax and widen blood vessels, further improving cardiovascular function.

Stress Reduction

One of the most appreciated benefits of saunas is their ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The heat and steam create a soothing environment that can help to alleviate tension and calm the mind. By taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immersing yourself in the warm embrace of a sauna, you can experience a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation. This can have a positive impact on your overall well-being and mental health.

In summary, while saunas are known for their calorie-burning potential, they offer so much more. From detoxification to improved cardiovascular health and stress reduction, the benefits of regular sauna use extend far beyond just burning calories. So why not indulge in the therapeutic experience of a sauna and reap the rewards it has to offer?

Safety Tips for Sauna Use

When it comes to enjoying the sauna experience, safety should always be a top priority. While saunas are generally safe for most people, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable session. Here are some important safety tips to follow when using a sauna:


Staying hydrated is crucial when using a sauna. The high temperatures in the sauna can cause excessive sweating, leading to fluid loss. To prevent dehydration, it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session. Sip water regularly to replenish the fluids your body is losing through sweat. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as they can further dehydrate you.

Time Limits

It’s essential to limit your time in the sauna. While saunas provide numerous health benefits, spending too much time in one can be detrimental. The high temperatures can put strain on your cardiovascular system and lead to overheating. Start with shorter sessions, around 10-15 minutes, and gradually increase the duration as you become more acclimated to the heat. Listen to your body and exit the sauna if you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable.

Health Considerations

Before using a sauna, it’s important to consider your health condition. Saunas are generally safe for most people, but certain medical conditions may warrant caution. If you have any underlying health issues such as cardiovascular problems, low or high blood pressure, or respiratory conditions, it’s wise to consult with your healthcare provider before using a sauna. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs.

Additionally, pregnant women, young children, and individuals with certain skin conditions should also exercise caution when using a sauna. Pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider before using a sauna, as the high temperatures may be harmful to the developing fetus. Young children have a lower tolerance to heat, so it’s best to avoid exposing them to sauna temperatures. If you have any skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, the heat and dryness of the sauna may exacerbate your symptoms, so it’s advisable to seek medical advice before using a sauna.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience. Remember to prioritize hydration, limit your time in the sauna, and consider your health condition before use. Stay safe and reap the many benefits that saunas have to offer.

If you’re interested in learning about other calorie-burning activities, check out our articles on how many calories does kayaking burn and how many calories does 10 push ups burn.


In conclusion, saunas offer a range of benefits beyond just relaxation and detoxification. They can also aid in calorie burning and contribute to improved cardiovascular health and stress reduction.

While it is true that saunas can help burn calories, the amount varies depending on several factors such as temperature, duration of sauna sessions, and individual metabolism. Studies have shown that saunas can burn an average of 150-300 calories in a single session, which is equivalent to a 30-minute jog or a 45-minute walk.

However, it is important to note that saunas should not be seen as a replacement for regular exercise. While they can provide some calorie burn, they are not a substitute for sustained physical activity. Incorporating saunas into a well-rounded fitness routine can be a great complement to other forms of exercise.

In addition to calorie burning, saunas offer other notable benefits. They promote detoxification by inducing sweating, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. Saunas also improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving blood flow. Furthermore, they can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and providing a peaceful environment for self-care.

When using a sauna, it is important to keep a few safety tips in mind. Staying hydrated is crucial, as the high temperatures can cause dehydration. It is recommended to drink plenty of water before, during, and after sauna sessions. Additionally, it is advisable to limit sauna sessions to a reasonable duration, typically around 10-20 minutes, to prevent overheating.

Individuals with certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular problems or low blood pressure, should consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna. It is important to prioritize personal well-being and make informed decisions based on individual circumstances.

In conclusion, saunas can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle, offering a range of benefits including calorie burning, detoxification, improved cardiovascular health, and stress reduction. By incorporating sauna sessions into a well-rounded fitness routine, individuals can reap the rewards of this ancient practice. So go ahead, indulge in a sauna session and take a step towards a healthier, more balanced life.

For more information on calorie burning, check out our articles on how many calories does kayaking burn and how many calories does jumping on a trampoline burn.