Saunas originated in Finland, but they’ve taken the world by storm. When you’re in a sauna, you can detox your body, lose weight and help recover from workouts faster. The amount of time that you should spend in a sauna depends on your goals.
But the duration that you stay in the sauna will be vital to reaching your specific goals.
How Long to Stay in a Sauna?
There are a lot of different time recommendations based on your experience with saunas. As a rule of thumb:
Beginners will not want to use a sauna for more than five to 10 minutes per day.
After exercising, you should wait at least 10 minutes before you go into the sauna
Maximum sauna time should not exceed 15 minutes per session.
While saunas are great for your health, they do cause dehydration.
Generally, the maximum amount that you should ever be in a sauna is 15 to 20 minutes, but it’s better to stay in the lower range just in case.
Saunas can cause your skin temperature to soar to 104 degrees in just a few minutes, and the dry heat of a sauna can reach a staggering 185 degrees.
Your pulse rate will also increase by as much as 30% or more, causing your heart to pump more blood per minute. If you already have blood pressure or heart-related problems, you may want to consult with your doctor before going into a sauna.
How Long Do You Have to Sit in a Sauna to Detox Your Body?
If you want to detoxify your body or purge toxins, you may want to try a sauna. There’s a lot of evidence that suggests using a sauna can help fight off bacteria and illness. If this is your goal of going into a sauna, there are a lot of recommendations to follow:
Prepare essential oils to add aromatherapy to your sauna. You can do this by adding four to six drops of essential oils into about a liter of water and pouring it over the rocks in your sauna.
Beginners will want to stay 10 minutes in the sauna, while the ideal range is 10 to 15 minutes for detoxification.
Once you step out of the sauna, you want to make sure that you drink ample amounts of water. Water works not only to rehydrate the body, but it will also help with the detoxification process.
A major peer review was done on 40 studies in 2018, and it found that saunas provide a variety of different health benefits.
These benefits include:
Congestive heart failure patients were able to improve their six-minute walking distance, reduce heart sizes and improve the classification of their disease.
A massive study which followed 2,315 men over a 20-year period found that those who used saunas were able to reduce the risk of dementia by 66%, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 65% and reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death by 63%. There was also a reduction of all mortality by 40%.
Additional studies also found that sauna use can help with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis and a series of other serious health conditions.
There are questions as to why sauna usage would help with all these health benefits, but one of the reasons may be detoxification.
One study published in 2012 from several Canadian research institutes found that sweating, including from sauna use, was able to remove the following toxins from the body:
How Long to Stay in Sauna to Lose Weight?
Weight loss is an industry that is filled with misinformation and “miracle” products, but sauna usage can help you lose weight. When you’re in a sauna, your pulse and heart rate increase, allowing your body to burn more calories.
You also sweat out a lot of fluids, leading to a lot of water loss and weight loss as a result.
In general, it’s recommended to stay in the sauna for 15 to 20 minutes at the highest setting possible. You will need to build up to these higher settings, just like a beginner, to ensure you’re not straining your body too much.
Of course, sauna usage should be accompanied by a good exercise and diet routine to maximize your weight loss.
If you spend 15 minutes in a sauna, you can expect to burn a mere 20 calories during your session. But the prolonged benefits of a sauna will increase the number of calories burned over the period of a day. This is similar to working out and the way a workout increases your metabolic rate, or your calories burned at rest.
You can’t expect to burn more calories for the first few hours after you exit the sauna.
Calculate your calories burned by dividing your BMR by 1,440 (minutes per day), multiplying by the number of minutes in the sauna and then multiplying by 1.5 (or 2.0).
So, if your BMR is 1700 and you spent 15 minutes in the sauna, you would use the following calculation to determine calories burned in the sauna: ((1700/1440)*15) * 1.5. This would come out to 26 calories on the low end and 35 calories on the high end.
What to Do after Sauna?
You can make up your own routine on what to do after going in a sauna. Generally, people will drink a lot of water to help the detoxification process, and a lot of people will take a cool shower or even a cold shower.
The reason that people will even take an ice bath is that it will help cool the body back down.
But for most people who are not endurance athletes or strong men trying to bring their body temperatures back down, a cool shower will suffice. It is vital to drink water afterwards because you will lose a lot of water in the sauna, so you may be dehydrated.
Cooling down will also close the pores in your skin. This is beneficial for skin health because open pores invite dirt into your pores, leading to acne.
How Often Should You Use a Sauna?
Spending time in a sauna can be taxing on your body, but it really depends on the type of sauna that you’re using. An infrared sauna can be used safely every day. But most people will spend up to 20 minutes, three to four times a week inside of a sauna.
There are some individuals that will spend 30 to 45 minutes in a sauna per day, but they will often break this up into two different sessions to ensure that they do not come too dehydrated.
Find the perfect amount of sessions for you per week and adjust as you see fit.
If you’re new to using a sauna, I recommend going in three times a week and then boosting up your endurance as you see fit. While you may be able to use your sauna daily, it isn’t required to experience all of these health benefits.
All you need are a few sessions in your sauna per week to start experiencing the health benefits. Start slow, and remember to be cautious that if you do feel sick, tired or dizzy while in the sauna, get out and let your body cool down.
What Happens If You Stay in a Sauna Too Long?
Sauna’s can be great for your health, but like most things, overdoing it is not recommended. When in a sauna, the temperatures increases your skin temperature up to 104 degrees, and you’ll start sweating.
When you spend too much time in a sauna, you may experience:
in the most extreme cases, you may even pass out from staying in the sauna too long. The general rule of thumb is to leave the sauna if you start feeling dizzy, nauseous or extremely tired.
Saunas can be great for your health, but you will want to take your time and get accustomed to the elevation in body temperature. If you decide to use a sauna weekly, you can experience great health benefits, including:
faster muscle repair
A lot of people claim that staying in a sauna will also relax them and alleviate a lot of stress. Since saunas are so readily available and affordable, a lot of people are buying them for their homes and enjoying all of these health benefits right from the comfort of home.