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LINDA65G SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (585)
Posts: 14
1/21/12 9:37 P

I don't think anyone was being rude... they just didn't answer your question the way you wanted them to. That doesn't make them rude, just means they have a different opinion than you. emoticon

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (188,735)
Fitness Minutes: (183,767)
Posts: 15,731
1/21/12 9:28 P

No one's being rude.

They're just stating a fact - that you shouldn't track sitting on your butt in a sauna as exercise because it isn't.

You could try to track something, but you're just ultimately cheating yourself.

KSMAXWELL1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (701)
Posts: 3
1/21/12 9:19 P

Wow...wasn't expecting people to be rude I thought this was a place I could go to for help. I was just stating what I had read about it and wasn't sure so that's why I came here hoping to get answers, but instead I seemed to of upset people. Sorry. I won't make the mistake of turning to this message board hoping for help from people needing support like I do. Thanks and sorry to of wasted anyone's time.

BEEBEA SparkPoints: (47,115)
Fitness Minutes: (42,834)
Posts: 1,147
1/21/12 9:08 P

I've always heard that temperature changes can cause your body to burn more calories since it has to do more "work" aka energy aka calories to regulate your system. For instance, when you drink ice water, it warms up to your body temperature, which of course takes some heat or energy from you that your body has to get from somewhere (your stored energy, which was at some point food). The problem is that a "calorie" is the energy required to raise one gram of water 1 degree C, and the "Calories" that we mean when we talk about food are kilocalories, which is the energy required to raise a kilogram of water one degree Celcius. A kilogram of water is a little more than 4 cups. So drinking a cup of ice water may burn... about 8 Calories, woohoo. And that's way oversimplifying the very complicated heat transfer problem.

So it sounds like forcing your body to work harder to control its temperature probably does burn calories, but no way it burns more than a few. Otherwise doctors could prescribe it as a weight loss treatment. :\

Edited by: BEEBEA at: 1/21/2012 (21:09)
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/21/12 8:37 P

M@L I want to thank you for your bit of research and explanation. I had been wondering where and how anyone could come up with such a figure for saunas, and you are probably right, that's where it comes from.

Your post makes it very clear why that's NOT "exercise calories burned" for the human that's sitting there.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/21/12 8:36 P

Yes that's the point Emily. It's activity that burns calories over and above basal metabolic rate (what you're talking about), and sitting still in a sauna will burn no more than sitting still in front of the television. In both cases your heart is beating, your brain is active, your digestive system is operating, and all of this body activity IS burning calories.

BUT doing it in a sauna will burn exactly zero more calories than doing it in front of the telly.

Sauna's don't burn calories.

EMILYJVG SparkPoints: (10,725)
Fitness Minutes: (6,232)
Posts: 38
1/21/12 8:23 P

I am not sure about any of this. Haven't done any research yet. However, this much I do know. It is not just activity that burns calories. You actually DO burn calories while sitting and sleeping :). You body has to pump blood and breath. That takes fuel. The thing about saunas and ice baths are that it has to do with your core temperature. As warm blooded beings our bodies regulate our temperatures to be around 98.5 degrees. If we get a bug the body heats up as a defense mechanism to kill the bug. This takes extra calories. When we are cold our bodies work harder to stay warm and when we are warm our bodies sweat which uses more fuel in order to cool down. This can be dangerous in other ways. Like hypothermia in one and dehydration/heat stroke in the other. So I would be very careful and educated when using these techniques. Also, I am not sure how much calories are actually burned in this process. But it sure is relaxing and that is beneficial. As far as recording it into your tracker. I think you might have to manually enter it.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,427
1/21/12 8:19 P

While the heat source may be different between traditional and infrared saunas, I stick by my original statement. It is ACTIVITY that burns calories, not sweating.

I did a little bit of research, and found a complex set of equations that worked out the moisture lost from the body in an infrared sauna, and the energy required to generate the latent heat to evaporate that amount of moisture, and it does indeed work out at 300 to 500 calories.

Quite an elegant bit of math really. Unfortunately, it makes a serious error on one key assumption. The heat and energy for this amount of evaporation of course comes from the infrared heaters and the sauna itself, and NOT from the body.

Saunas do have significant benefits, including relaxing the muscles, and potentially helping post workout recovery. However, burning calories is NOT amongst these benefits.


TUNDURA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 5
1/21/12 8:13 P

Oh dear!

Get your facts straight. Sitting still cannot burn any more calories than your basal metabolic state does. The sauna ain't doin' not'in hun!!

Suggest you start reading the spark articles and the parts about weight loss myths.

(btw - you could sweat out water in a sauna which will result in a temporary "weight" reduction - but it's just water, and you'll put it back on as soon as you drink water. Unless, of course, you keep yourself in a dehydrated state and really don't drink much water or eat many foods which will make you very, very ill - and you'll end up on dyalysis :)

KSMAXWELL1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (701)
Posts: 3
1/21/12 8:00 P

An infrared sauna does burn calories. Maybe you're not familiar with the facts on this particular kind of sauna. I am very active and I usually sit in the sauna 3 times a week. It doesn't only burn calories but it help in a lot of other ways as well. Thanks anyway.

LSHARP02 Posts: 84
1/21/12 9:12 A

Oh Dear! ... Oh well! emoticon

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,427
1/21/12 6:37 A

It is activity burns calories, not sweating. Sadly, sitting in a sauna do not burn calories.

Jockeys and fighters may use them to sweat out some water weight to meet a specific weigh-in target, but it goes back on as soon as they rehydrate. They are not burning fat by using saunas.


KSMAXWELL1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (701)
Posts: 3
1/21/12 2:38 A

My gym has an Infrared sauna. Yesterday I sat in it for 25 minutes but I cannot figure out how to track this in my fitness tracker. I know that in an infrared sauna you can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories in 30 minutes. Does anyone know how to track it? Thanks.

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