The word “sweat” is synonymous with hard work, heavy lifting, exercise, and other strenuous (and sometimes unpleasant) practices.
However, releasing fluids from the body is not only necessary for general health and wellbeing – it can also help with weight loss. Best of all, you can work up a sweat without lifting a finger! Keep reading to learn about sweating for weight loss.
Sweatin’ to the Oldies
Remember Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 – full workout? It was a colorful, enthusiastic system of shedding extra weight. That is evidence to the testimony that sweat, not just exercise, is a key factor in weight loss. Although exercise can and will burn calories, if you’re not sweating during workouts, you’re missing the opportunity to shed water weight and toxins. Sweating doesn’t burn fat, per se, but it enhances the body’s ability to keep only what it needs.
Exercise vs Infrared
Infrared saunas are heaven-sent for those who can’t engage in heavy cardio or strenuous workout routines (due to weight problems, back pain, and other issues) to work up a good sweat. During a typical sauna session, the client is placed in a special bed that radiates FAR infrared energy. It safely penetrates the skin and slowly increases the body’s core temperature.
In addition, muscles become much softer and more pliable when settling into a long sauna session. Exercise, on the other hand, hardens muscles, which makes it more difficult for water to go through and carry toxins out. In the words of Sophie Chiche, owner of the urban sweat lodge Shape House, “It is a very different kind of sweat than the sweat you would get as an athlete or someone who works out in a more traditional way.”
Although “active” sweating for weight loss (through intense workouts) is great, “passive” sweating for weight loss (through saunas) is just as effective when it comes to weight loss. Infrared sauna sessions can’t replace a cardio workout, but they do serve up a plethora of weight loss benefits.
Benefits of Infrared Sauna Sessions
Calorie Burning: Your body may seem still and at rest during an infrared treatment, but lots of work goes on behind the scenes. As your temperature rises, your nervous system starts to trigger the sweat glands, which release toxins at a faster rate when continuously stimulated. In addition to shedding water weight, an average of 800 calories is burned during a typical sauna session. No tennis shoes or bike shorts required!
Metabolism Boost: Sauna sessions have long-lasting effects. Not only do they increase peace and relaxation, but each infrared session also boosts metabolism for up to 36 hours after the treatment. The more you go, the more your metabolism gets the opportunity to speed up.
Healthier Choices: After a few sweaty sessions, you’ll find that shedding what your body no longer needs makes it easier to avoid those things in the first place. Fast food, sugar, and processed foods may become less than enticing after you discover what it feels like to be rid of these addictive substances.
Detox: Once your body gets used to the heavy detoxification that occurs during an infrared session, it can become easier for you to eradicate fat cells. You can literally retrain your body and the way it responds to fat storage.
Melt the Fat: Although you may hear that you can’t “sweat away” fat, and that sauna sessions simply help you release water weight, the fact is that fat becomes more soluble when it reaches high temperatures. In essence, it can be removed from the body during an intense sweat.
Better Night’s Sleep: Regular infrared sessions can improve sleep quality which, in turn, helps promote weight loss. It’s a win-win! Sleep tight knowing that you’re improving your mental and physical health simply through sweating for weight loss.
If you don’t have infrared technology available to you, no worries! There are many ways you can step up your sweat game without leaving the house. Follow these steps for an effective in-home sauna experience:
- Ensure that you have a full-length bathtub that allows you to immerse your entire body in the water.
- When filling the tub, make sure the water is a bit hotter than you’d typically take it. (But not skin-scorching, of course. Use common sense!)
- Cut 3-4 organic lemons in half and add to the bathwater (you can sprinkle some ginger powder in for an extra kick, too).
- Immerse yourself in the tub for at least 20 minutes in order to reap the full benefits. This is the important part! The second you feel too hot marks the halfway point. Stay in for another ten, and you’ll be glad you stuck it through.
Post-sauna, make sure you lie down and relax for a few moments before going about your day. Ideally, practice your sauna sessions at night before bedtime to ensure that the body has enough time to process the treatment and rest.
Infrared sauna treatments complement existing fitness practices and offer a more holistic method with many benefits of sweating for weight loss and well-being. Better still, this option allows those who simply can’t exercise a peaceful, controlled way to release toxins and weight all in one go.