The Pros and Cons of Sauna vs. Cardio Exercise

If you’re ready to lose weight, you may be considering sauna vs. cardio for weight loss. Lots of people wonder about which is the better or more effective approach, but the answer lies somewhere in between. Both can help you lose weight, but in different ways and at different rates.

Should You Use a Sauna or Do Cardio Exercise for Weight Loss?

Body builders and anyone who is focused on building up muscle and getting in shape will tell you that sauna vs. cardio isn’t even a valid argument because you’re losing different types of weight with each method, sort of like trying to compare apples to oranges.

Using a sauna for about thirty minutes will help you lose weight, but this immediate weight loss is primarily water weight because you sweat profusely in the sauna. You will burn some calories, but not nearly as many as you would during a cardio workout.

Cardio workouts, on the other hand, promote weight loss over time by burning calories. You probably won’t see any noticeable change in your weight after thirty minutes of cardio because the weight loss is gradual. It may seem slow because while you lose fat, you’re also gaining muscle with cardio.

If you’re trying to choose between a sauna or cardio exercise for quick, immediate weight loss, however, a sauna can help. If you need to drop a few pounds quickly, it won’t hurt to use a sauna so that you can zip up those skinny jeans. For long term results that stay with you, however, cardio is the way to go.

Health Benefits

Whether you use a sauna or cardio exercise for weight loss, you will also benefit from some valuable health perks. Both activities will increase your metabolic rate. In fact, being in a sauna for thirty minutes can increase your metabolism by between 10%-20%.

Cardio exercise will also raise your metabolic rate, and both activities will help you burn calories even after you’ve stopped. A sauna can help you to continue burning calories for as long as three hours after you’ve cooled down.

In a comparison of sauna vs. cardio, a cardio workout will win when it comes to strengthening your heart and developing lean muscle tissue. In a sauna, your body is at rest rather than performing a task, so your heart and muscles aren’t engaged as much.

If you want to improve your circulation and get rid of toxins in your system, however, the sauna wins. It opens your pores and encourages profuse sweating, which will help your body flush out toxins that have built up in the muscles.

So if you’d like the best possible results, rethink the sauna vs. cardio argument. Regularly performing a cardio workout and then relaxing in a sauna maximizes the effects of both activities and you benefit by losing weight more effectively while getting rid of toxins in your system.

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