Benefits to the sauna seem obvious to those who use them regularly, but they may come as a surprise to those who have never experienced what it’s like to sit in a warm bath of steamy water. Here are three unexpected benefits to the sauna that may make you rethink how you take care of your health and well-being.
1) Boost your immune system
Heat-related illness can be common in saunas. The extreme heat may temporarily suppress your immune system and make you more vulnerable to contracting a viral or bacterial infection. However, some people claim that taking frequent sauna breaks helps strengthen their immune systems so they’re less likely to get sick in the future.
2) Lose weight
All that sweat-sending activity can help you shed unwanted pounds. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that women who used a sauna twice a week lost more than three times as much weight as those who used it once a week. Why? A 2013 report published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that people burned 350 percent more calories when they exercised while hot and humid, compared with exercising at normal temperatures.
3) Burn fat
Bikram, or hot, yoga is a type of yoga that incorporates three different poses into each sequence, and participants work out in temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish’s Lifestyle Medicine Clinic found that over a 12-week period, people who practiced Bikram Yoga lost an average of 4 inches off their waists and more than 10 pounds. Plus, Dr.