How many calories do you burn 30 minutes in sauna?

Spending time in a sauna can be an enjoyable way to relax and unwind. But saunas also provide health and fitness benefits, including burning calories. Using a sauna for 30 minutes can burn a significant number of calories, helping you meet your weight loss or fitness goals.

Calories Burned in 30 Minutes in a Sauna

On average, a 155 pound person will burn the following calories in a 30 minute sauna session:

  • 120-150 calories in a dry sauna at 185°F
  • 140-170 calories in a wet sauna at 140°F
  • 150-180 calories in an infrared sauna at 120°F

These estimates are for a moderately heated sauna. Hotter sauna temperatures or more intense sauna sessions can burn even more calories.

For a 200 pound person, the calories burned may be around:

  • 150-190 calories in a dry sauna at 185°F
  • 180-220 calories in a wet sauna at 140°F
  • 190-230 calories in an infrared sauna at 120°F

The exact amount of calories burned will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your weight – Heavier individuals burn more calories.
  • Sauna type – Infrared saunas burn slightly more calories than traditional saunas.
  • Sauna temperature – The hotter the sauna, the more calories burned.
  • Intensity of sauna session – More movement or sweating burns extra calories.
  • Your metabolism – A faster metabolism results in burning more calories.

How Saunas Help Burn Calories

Using a sauna helps burn calories because your body must work harder to cool itself and maintain a healthy temperature. The heat causes an increase in heart rate, metabolism, and sweating as your body tries to cool down through perspiration.

Some of the specific ways saunas lead to extra calorie burn include:

  • Increased heart rate – Your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the skin and throughout the body in the heat, burning extra calories.
  • Rise in core body temperature – Your body has to work to lower your core temperature back to 98.6°F, burning calories.
  • Perspiration – Sweating profusely causes you to lose water weight and expend energy, burning calories.
  • Improved circulation – Better blood flow provides oxygen and nutrients to working muscles, facilitating calorie burn.

Additionally, the heat from saunas results in an increase in metabolism or faster fat and calorie burning, even after you are done using the sauna.

Sauna Use for Weight Loss

While a 30 minute sauna session only burns around 150-300 calories, using a sauna regularly can contribute to weight loss efforts. The temporary increase in metabolism from saunas means you continue burning extra calories even after leaving the sauna.

Some tips for using saunas for weight loss include:

  • Use an infrared sauna – They burn more calories than traditional saunas.
  • Increase sauna duration and frequency – Try using the sauna for 60-90 minutes, 2-3 times per week.
  • Combine with exercise – Do cardio or weight training before or after sauna sessions.
  • Stay hydrated – Drink water before, during and after using the sauna.
  • Eat a healthy diet – Focus on unprocessed whole foods, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.

While saunas alone likely won’t lead to major weight loss, they can be a helpful part of a healthy lifestyle focused on nutrition and exercise. However, be sure to check with your doctor before using a sauna, especially if you have any health conditions.

Other Sauna Health Benefits

In addition to burning calories, using a sauna offers many other health benefits. Regular sauna use can:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress and relax muscles
  • Improve circulation and heart health
  • Flush toxins and improve skin health
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase endurance and performance when combined with exercise

Saunas are generally safe for most healthy adults. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated and avoid getting overheated
  • Start with shorter sessions and lower temperatures
  • Avoid saunas if pregnant, elderly, or have certain medical conditions
  • Avoid alcohol before or during sauna use
  • Never use a sauna alone

Maximizing Calorie Burn in a Sauna

To get the most out of your sauna session for calorie and fat burning, follow these tips:

  • Pre-heat – Allow the sauna to heat up completely before entering.
  • Use higher temperatures – Try for 150-185°F in dry saunas.
  • Do interval sessions – Spend 5-10 minutes inside, rest, then repeat.
  • Increase humidity – Splash water on the sauna rocks to boost perspiration.
  • Move around – Walk, stretch, or do other motions while inside.
  • Wait 30-60 minutes after eating – Don’t use the sauna with a full stomach.
  • Hydrate well – Drink water before and after sauna use.

Keep in mind your fitness level and health conditions when deciding the sauna temperature and how long to stay inside. Be sure to listen to your body.


Is it better to exercise before or after sauna?

Both options have advantages. Exercising before sauna allows you to burn more calories during your workout since your body isn’t already heated. But exercising after sauna keeps your heart rate up longer and maintains the boosted metabolism from sauna use.

How long should you stay in a sauna to lose weight?

Aim for sauna sessions between 30-90 minutes, 2-3 times per week for weight loss benefits. Longer or more frequent sessions may lead to dehydration, nausea or fatigue.

Can you lose belly fat in a sauna?

Saunas may help reduce overall body fat, but cannot target fat in specific areas like the belly. Spot reduction of fat is a myth – you need full body exercise and a healthy diet to lose belly fat.

Is 20 minutes in a sauna enough?

For a beginner, 20 minutes in a 145-150°F sauna is sufficient. But for fitness benefits, aim for sessions of 30 minutes or longer. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it when first starting.

Is it OK to sauna every day?

Using a sauna once a day is typically fine for most healthy adults. However, take a break if you feel lightheaded, nauseous or dehydrated. Avoid daily saunas if you have any medical conditions.


Spending 30 minutes in a hot sauna can burn around 150-300 calories, with weight, sauna type, and intensity influencing calorie expenditure. Using saunas regularly may support weight loss efforts as part of a healthy lifestyle. Saunas also offer other benefits like reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and removing toxins. Be sure to stay hydrated and listen to your body when using a sauna for calorie and fat burning.

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