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The Sauna is Not the Way to Weight-Loss

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For women, the concept of a sauna is both intriguing and, to some extent, supposedly useful. You find yourself walking into a room that immediately surrounds you with a blistering, dry heat – your body is on fire and your skin suddenly feels alive.

Not to be confused with a steam room, a sauna is a room heated up to 70-90 degrees Centigrade, which is often kept heated by open coal or electricity. Steam rises from the same place to create a hot, but dry atmosphere that causes you to sweat and your pores to open up. In doing so, the body also releases toxins, hence why it is encouraged that you take a bath before and/or after to wipe away the remains of body oils that could ultimately slow this process.

If you suffer from breathing problems such as asthma or simply clogged sinuses from a cold, then it is said that the steam can help you to breathe easier.

In theory, at least, it seems like a good idea.

The myth that it can help you lose weight or cure skin problems however, is unfounded.

When entering a sauna, you need to be aware of a few things.

You’re walking into a room that’s deliberately set to a high, varying temperature. If you suffer from blood pressure, open wounds, diabetes or heart disease, you must consult your doctor. A sauna may only prolong the pain, rather than keep it down. A sauna is not a healthy alternative to a heating pack.

If you are pregnant, then it is highly advised that you don’t enter a sauna, as it can become unsafe for your baby.

Ideally, a sauna is not recommended for anyone below 20 years old nor for anyone over 50, as it can lead to harsh conditions such as heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate the body’s core temperature, the symptoms of which mean that the body will be unable to sweat or for the heart to beat rapidly. Ideally, you shouldn’t drink alcohol prior to entering the sauna – alcohol dehydrates you, which can encourage heat stroke and induce urine, which can lead to similar heat issues.

Former Health Club owner Rodrick Kakuba suggests that anyone entering a sauna must be careful about what they are wearing. “It is always better to wrap something light around one’s body; probably a bed sheet. While in there, breaks are encouraged as staying in for long might cause dizziness or even fainting. Two–three minute breaks accompanied by drinking water is advisable.”

Furthermore, wearing sandals or rubber shoes can stop you from slipping on a sweaty, damp floor. The last thing you want is to tumble whilst half-naked, after all.

In terms of weight loss, Kakuba notes that “One does not lose weight when in sauna or steam bath no matter how many times one goes in but rather, they help one become healthy.”

Whilst it does help you to sweat out toxins, your body is not sweating out fat; your body burns this through exercise, whether it is a 30-minute brisk walk three times a week or two hours in the gym each day.

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This entry was posted on July 11, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , , .
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