The Science Behind the Sauna Suit
Every few years, a new workout trend hits the scene that raises a few eyebrows. Magic weight loss pills, hula hoops and shake weights are just a few examples of strange fads that lost their shimmer just as quickly as they came into fashion. And when sauna suits began to develop — a craze that was spurred by 80s celebrities wearing garbage bags underneath their workout clothes — many waved their hands, brushing it off as simply another passing fancy.
But recent research has shown that the fairly new style has quite a bit of merit to it. The most recent study was published in November 2017 by Lance C. Dalleck and his team of researchers. After putting together three different exercise groups made up of 45 overweight or obese people. These were the findings:
Wearing a sauna suit helps you lose weight faster. The group that did not wear sauna suits during their workouts saw a 0.9 percent reduction in body weight and an 8.3 percent reduction in body fat. The group wearing sauna suits? They had a 2.6 percent body weight reduction and a 13.8 percent body fat reduction. This was over the course of just eight weeks!
Wearing a sauna suit improves overall health. VO₂max is a measurement that tells how much oxygen a person can utilize during high-intensity exercise. It’s one of the best indicators of an individual’s general health and fitness capabilities. The higher an individual’s VO₂max level, the better. Dalleck’s study found that participants who exercised in sauna suits saw a VO₂max increase of 11.6 percent, compared to the 7.3 percent increase of those who didn’t use sauna suits. In short, wearing a sauna suit maximizes the efficiency of your workout.
Wearing a sauna suit can help you live longer. The study showed a correlation between wearing sauna suits during exercise and specific benefits that lead to a longer lifespan. These benefits included strikingly better blood glucose levels and resting metabolic rates, or how many calories your body burns at a resting state. The study also explains that for every 10 percent of cardiorespiratory improvement (which would be linked to the VO₂max findings above), there is a 15 percent reduction in mortality rates on average.
It’s important to note that these findings were under regulated conditions and testing didn’t include interval training or working out in an already warm environment. For obvious reasons, increasing your body temperature in an already hot room could be dangerous. But generally speaking, the research showed that sauna suits can be extremely beneficial for individuals who don’t have any unusual health conditions and are exercising in shorter increments.
A great option for people looking to amp up their training routine and achieve their fitness goals faster, sauna suits are hardly a passing craze. Rather, it looks like they’re here to stay.