You might have heard that having a sauna once in a blue moon is good for your health. Sauna definitely helps with weight loss and has many health benefits, but how many calories can you actually burn in a sauna and can it actually be used as a method for weight loss?
Measuring calories burnt in a sauna
Our test subject was our sales guy Leho, the test equipment an Oura Ring, that tracks your sleep patterns and daily activity, and creates recommendations based on how your stats have changed over the recent days. In addition to great hardware, Oura has developed a sleek app to display you all the metrics along with a relative aptitude for pushing your limits that day (they call this a Readiness Score). Leho has been wearing Oura for almost two years now and now sleeps like a baby. Almost every night.
In the sauna we go!
Defining a baseline
During the sauna ritual
One exceptionally good thing about GreenBoats is that they are right at the Aker Brygge marina, offering a cold dip in water whenever you like. We Estonians know how much extra “oomph” we can get from going for a swim or rolling in snow after a sauna session. All in all, 24 minutes of steaming sauna with a lovely view.
In a sauna you can burn about 1 kCal a minute
Screenshots from Oura App before and after
The experiment was fun, no question about it. However, sauna alone cannot be a good weight loss strategy. Additionally, you need exercise, good nutrition and high-quality sleep. A sauna can be a very good supporting strategy, if you do it right. Drink lots of water before, during and after a sauna, and you are definitely on track.
Sleep quality the night after the sauna
Oura will be able to tell you about your sleep quality and what might affect it. For example, even a slightly bigger snack too close to bedtime will affect your sleep and usually not in a positive way. The same thing applies to sauna. Perhaps because our sauna session was not directly before bed but at noon, Leho’s sleep quality was surprisingly high. He was able to hit one of his targets for lowest resting heart rate of 37 bpm during the night after the sauna.