What is a Sauna Suit and How to Use it?
A sauna suit helps you sweat more for accelerated weight loss. More about how sauna suits work, what they’re made from, and who can use them here!
The sauna suit is popular with many people, from the professional athlete to the regular gym goer or home-based fitness fan. Designed to simulate a typical sauna, the garment promises help with weight loss and other health benefits. But do sauna suits work? This article explains them in detail. So read on, find out more about what a sauna suit is, its advantages, and how to use one.
What is a Sauna Suit?
A sauna suit (or sweat suit) is a workout garment that uses a waterproof material. The idea behind the waterproof sauna suit material is to trap body heat and increase sweating. As you sweat profusely, many things happen; you lose water weight, remove toxins, burn calories, grow your muscles, and much more.
It's not clear when sauna suits were invented. What's clear, though, is that they have existed for a long time and used by people of all ages. Sweat suits have come a long way too. Many years ago, they were a rubberized fabric and commonly called rubber suits.
Today, sauna suits to cut weight are available in these different materials.
- Silver polymer
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
Silver Polymer- Silver polymer is a recent, innovative material that offers many benefits. Silver polymer sauna suits are thin and comfortable, odorless, and allergy-free. They also provide excellent heat retention for faster weight loss and last a long time since the material is tear-resistant.
PVC and Nylon- these make cheap sauna suits that do not last a long time. That’s because the materials tend to tear easily. PVC and nylon suits are also not adequately breathable, and can make you feel uncomfortable when exercising in them.
Neoprene- this material was traditionally used for sauna suits due to its flexibility. However, other materials are quickly replacing it. Neoprene produces a very bad odor that won’t go away, which many people find too unpleasant. Neoprene sauna suits can also irritate the skin of people who are allergic to the material and thus not universally usable.
Sauna suits are also made in different styles and sizes. Sizes range from S through 6XL to fit different body types. Styles on the other hand, vary by the amount body covered. The suit can be a full body garment, sometimes hooded, that you slip into before beginning your workouts. It can also be a set of sauna suit pants, sauna suit jacket or sauna shirt that you wear separately, sometimes just a vest and pants.
The sauna suit style options in more detail:
- Fullbody sauna suit or one that leaves the arms and legs bare. Depending on your preferences, you can choose either style.
- One piece orseparate pieces for the upper and lower parts. A one piece sauna suit covers your body perfectly, while separate pieces offer more flexibility.
- Hooded or non-hooded suit. A hooded sauna suit covers the head and offers more advantages in terms of trapping heat, especially if exercising in cold conditions.
- Light or heavy-duty suit. A lightweight suit uses lighter materials and may not last a long time. Most are inexpensive. A heavy-dutysauna suit uses a tough material and is more durable.
Besides the different styles, sauna suits are normally either unisex or gender-specific. There are sauna suits for men, sauna suits for women, and those that suit both sexes. Each type is designed with the specific user in mind and come with different features to suit the wearer's body and other aspects.
How does a Sauna Suit Work?
A sauna suit increases perspiration. That in turn, is supposed to help you burn fat, reduce weight and several other benefits such as improve blood flow and remove toxins. But do sauna suits really work? They do, says a recent study conducted by a team of researchers led by Lance Dalleck.
Out of the 45 subjects who participated in the study, those who wore sauna suits showed a significant change than those who used regular gym wear.
A 2.6% drop in body weight was noticed in those who wore sauna suits compared to only 0.9% in those who didn't. A drop 13.8% on the overall body fat was also observed on the group that used sauna suits, while those who wore normal gym kits experienced an 8.3% fat loss.
The metabolic rate increased considerably in the sauna suit group, to 11.4%, while the other group had the metabolic rate by only 2.7%. From the results of the study, wearing a sauna suit offers both short and long term health benefits.
So, what does a sauna do?
The sauna suit purpose is to trap the heat that your body produces when exercising. Normally during workouts, your body heats up quickly. This triggers sweating. The sweat then evaporates on your skin, taking heat away and helping cool the body.
Made from PVC, nylon, or rubber, a sauna suit is waterproof and cannot allow air to reach the skin. That means the sweat is not evaporating and your body is not cooling as required. In a bid to increase the cooling rate, you end up producing more sweat. In short, this is what happens when working out in a sauna suit;
Your muscles produce heat, the body tries to cool down by sweating, the sauna suit blocks air and prevents cooling, you sweat more and the cycle repeats itself.
Now, excessive sweating and increased body heat had its benefits, especially when happening in a controlled environment or under a qualified instructor.
The Benefits of Sauna Suits
The idea of wearing a sauna suit while exercising has its advantages. First, it helps you shed a few pounds instantly. This is called water weight and one of the reasons why boxers use sauna suits just before a fight. The instant loss of weight makes them fit a lower weight category that their actual body weight.
Second, sweating helps your body remove toxins through the skin, leaving you healthy and rejuvenated. Because you're sweating more, the amount of toxins getting out of your body through the skin pores is higher than during normal situations.
Apart from the instant weight loss and toxins release, most other benefits of a sauna suit are long-term and will not show immediately. They include:
- Help with muscle recovery - After a workout, the sauna suit will increase blood flow to your muscles and will help with muscle recovery as a result.
- Increased performance - The sauna suit helps you exercise harder and for longer. Your performance and endurance goes up.
- Improved circulation - Regular use of the sauna suit will help to improve your circulation - you will feel more energized, your skin tone will benefit among other benefits.
- Strengthens immune system - The sauna suit will strengthen your immune systems by removing toxins from your body through sweat, nourishing blood cells by increasing circulation, and more.
How to Use a Sauna Suit
Using a sauna suit as a first time user may not seem to be a big deal. However, it is. You should not just use your sweat suit. Use it correctly and in line with the best practices- both during workouts and after. The correct methods to wear your sauna suit mean faster results, comfortable exercising, and a lot more. Be sure to follow the rules explained below.
How to Wear a Sauna Suit
Sauna suits are available in various styles. While these will be worn differently, most rules apply to many of them. The idea is to ensure that the suit is adequately sealed but comfortable. Here is how to wear a sauna suit.
- Remove any jewelry that you may be having on your body, specifically on the neck and wrists.
- Ensure that you have the right size. The garment comes in many different sizes from the smallest to the extra-large saunasuit for plus size
- Wear moisture-wick, body-hugging undergarment under the sauna suit. The purpose of a sauna suit is to keep in heat and increase sweating. Too much sweat can make you feel uncomfortable.
- Slip the sauna suit over your undergarments. Ensure the elastic bands rest in the recommended places; collarbone and wrists for the upper piece, waist and ankles the lower piece.
Working Out in a Sauna Suit
After wearing your sauna suit, do not start training in it right away. There are still a few other things to take care of. As we said earlier, sauna suit exercises expose your body to excessive heat and can cause some risks. Here is how to go about using a sauna suit during your first session in it.
- Hydrate adequately before starting your sauna suit workouts. Drink about 6 ounces of water just before beginning your training. Continue sipping more throughout the workout session at 10-15 minute intervals.
- Begin your workouts taking care not to exert yourself too much especially if it's your first time using a sauna suit. Start with less strenuous exercises and short sessions (about 20-30 minutes long). You can increase that later. However, never exceed 45 minutes when doing strenuous exercises.
- It is good practice to listen to your body when working out in sweat suits. Stop if you feel dizzy and hydrate to replace lost fluids. Stop also if you feel uncomfortable in any way or ill.
- After exercising in your sauna suit, you can choose to relax in it and enjoy the warm feeling, especially if exercising in cold conditions. Otherwise, it's best practice to remove it immediately after.
- Avoid working out in a sauna suit if you suffer from serious ailments such as hypertension and diabetes.
- It’s also not recommended to wear a sauna suit if you suffer from serious skin allergies. The suit will not sit on your body comfortably or you might end up worsening the condition.
- When removing a sauna suit, you may want to do it in a shower to avoid sweat messes. Always wash your sweat suit immediately after taking it off your body to clean the sweat.
How to Wash a Sauna Suit
The sauna suit should be washed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep in mind that some manufacturers advise against the use of fabric softener. Others prohibit machine washing or hanging the sauna suit in direct sunlight to dry. Here is how to clean a sauna suit:
- Before you can clean your sweat suit, be sure to check the label for wash instructions.
- Empty the suit's pockets it has them. Remove any stuck-on debris manually
- If hand washing the suit, be sure to use a mild detergent and soak it for between 10 and 15 minutes.
- Rub the sauna suit gently to rid it of dirt and grime, then rinse it with only water
- Hang the suit overnight to dry. Depending on the manufacturer Instructions, you may hang it outside. Only ensure that it doesn't stay out for far too long.
- If machine washing the sauna suit, be sure to use a gentle or delicate washing cycle and if your machine has an option, the lowest spin speed too.
- Out a mild detergent in your machine, just like you would do if hand washing the suit.
- Machine-wash in cold or warm water, too.
- As you do not need to use a tumble dryer, we recommend that you shake your suit out and then hang it up in the shade as soon as possible after washing.
Sauna suits are important fitness accessories, especially if looking to improve your health while also shedding some pounds. They help with weight loss, fat oxidation, and a whole lot more benefits. As you have learnt in this guide, the benefits of sauna suits can only be realized if you choose the right type of the garment. That means the suit material, quality, and stye. It will also depend on how well you use it.