After the class at gym, while walking to the changing room, was chatting with a gym member.”Hey, you want to join me for a sauna session to lose some weight?”
Politely declined his offer. Why?
It is a misconception to lose weight by having steam bath or sauna. First thing first, what we want to lose is fat. Weight could be fat, water or even muscle tissue. The loss of weight through excess sweating as experienced in the steam room is not fat, but water.
After the session, you will be thirsty. Once you drink water, such weight will be back. More worrying is that if the fluid loss is replaced by a high calorie drink, you may end up by gaining fat as a result of your weight loss attempt. So, weight loss after sauna is a temporary loss.
However, another school of thought – steam bath may help in weight loss. Their approach is to detoxify the body. From the scientific point of view, it is true that steam bathing has a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system. The pulse rate will increase within short period. This increases blood circulation, since the heat causes the blood vessels in the skin to expand, accommodating the increased blood flow.
Also, they believe that weight loss cannot be accomplished unless toxins are first removed. Furthermore, they believe that sending more blood to the capillaries and converting fats and carbohydrates results in much calories burned during one short steam bath session.
So, who is right?
In the steam bath or sauna, increased cardiac output and the cooling process make the body use its energy resources and therefore making your heart rate increases. So, your heart is the only muscles working hard. While the heart is an important muscle, physical activity such as jogging, swimming or weight lifting is better choice. These physical activities make your muscles grow and muscle tissue burns energy even while you rest.
Use steam bath as one of the methods to achieve your goal for weight loss, but not the only one. In order to reduce body fat, cardiovascular exercise is a must. So does a good diet plan with a strong discipline to do weight lifting. In fact, between a steam bath or a 30-minute brisk walking, I will go for the latter.
If only steam bath is so effective, I guess everyone will flock to have steam bath, twice a day, seven days a week, to become slimmer.
And we will never have overweight people in the world.
Category: Weight Loss
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