Weight loss concerns and diet plans are rarely out of the spotlight for long. Every month sees a new report on the dangers of being overweight and the benefits of losing a few pounds.
The CDC has reported that even a weight loss of just 5% or 10% can produce health benefits. This can mean reducing the chances of contracting diabetes or having heart disease,
Normally, the usual route for losing weight is to diet. Combining this with exercise can help to produce a healthy lifestyle that promotes excess weight loss, and a long-term plan. However, everyone likes to have a little extra help as losing weight is difficult, and keeping it off even more so.
One of the latest gadgets that are garnering attention in this area is the infrared sauna blanket. One reason that it is becoming popular is that there is a belief that it could help with weight loss.
Can an infrared sauna blanket really help with weight loss, or is it just a lot of hot air?
What are infrared sauna blankets?
If you have never heard of these products then the name in itself may be confusing. Are they a blanket you wear to the sauna? How do you use one? Won’t they get all sweaty? And surely, the sauna is hot enough without adding a blanket to it.
Well, the name might be confusing before you see the device but soon all becomes clear. The blanket is the sauna. The user plugs in the infrared sauna blanket and then wraps themselves inside it.
Because they use far-infrared power they generate heat in the user’s body instead of the surrounding air. So unlike a real sauna, there is no problem with moisture or steam. Therefore they can be used anywhere in the home, with the bedroom being a popular choice.
What do sauna blankets do?
Saunas have been used for centuries to help remove toxins from the body. They are believed to help with the heart’s health, detox, and aid in recovery and from illness.
Athletes use saunas to recover quicker after workouts, and they are useful for anyone suffering from stress.
One of the main appeals to a sauna is how relaxing they are. Many people use them simply as a way to decompress from the tensions of everyday life.
However, detoxing and flushing toxins is something that a lot of people use saunas for. One of the things to know before starting a diet is to have a detox, saunas are useful for this purpose and as part of a wider plan.
Therefore sauna blankets may be useful to help with all of these areas too.
Can they help with weight loss?
One big question regarding sauna blankets is whether they can be used for losing weight.
Saunas themselves are often used as part of an exercise or workout routine and are typically associated with healthy-looking people. Particularly Scandinavians.
They could certainly be used as part of a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to tips for transitioning to a healthier way of eating and exercising, a sauna blanket could form part of that new regime.
Whether they can help you lose weight is still up for some debate as they are relatively new. There haven’t been any studies so far on whether sauna blankets can help with long-term weight loss, but there is evidence that they help in the shorter term.
One study showed that out of two control groups, the one that used infrared saunas lost up to 4% of their body fat compared to the group that didn’t. So there are signs that sauna blankets could help someone when combined with healthy eating and exercise.
What are the differences between different models?
You might think that all sauna blankets are basically the same, but this isn’t true. Some models use different materials than others and this can affect how the heat is reflected and how effective they are.
Some blankets are aimed at budget users and others have more heating ranges. A few blankets of the market are effective at heating the user from head to toe, whereas others are better at targeting specific areas of the body.
Looking at one Mihigh sauna blanket review shows that it is in the middle of the price range for the market and comes with a 30-day trial. Others will be less expensive but may be made with inferior materials. It is important to compare a few sauna blankets before making a purchase.
Safety is obviously a priority as you will be wrapping yourself in something that is essentially plugged into your power socket.
Are there any dangers to using infrared sauna blankets?
Despite that last remark, infrared sauna blankets are indeed safe. Where there may be some dangers will be with the user themselves and their health.
Someone with extremely high blood pressure may be better off avoiding saunas in general. Switching from a swimming pool that is cool straight to a hot sauna can also raise a person’s blood pressure. However, this is not likely to be an issue with a sauna blanket as the user would dry off and likely warm up first.
Some people find that skin conditions worsen in saunas, therefore they may be advised to be cautious with a sauna blanket too.
A few of the sauna blankets available are heavier than others and some people can find them restrictive once they heat up. Though discomfort is not a danger in itself, it isn’t particularly desirable.
One danger of overusing a sauna blanket could be dehydration. Sauna blankets should be used in moderation and not too frequently. Adequate hydration is even more important when using a sauna blanket as you will sweat more.
What health benefits can be gained from using sauna blankets?
Now you know about the very limited risks of using a sauna blanket, what about the advantages? There is a real possibility of course that they could help you to lose some weight, especially as part of a wider program.
What else can sauna blankets do? WebMD reported that people who used saunas regularly cut their risk of high blood pressure by half. This is despite the small risk to some with very high blood pressure.
Saunas are known to help with having a healthy heart and give similar results in this area as exercise can. Sauna blankets may help with some skin conditions, and they can also offer some pain relief.
Users have reported that infrared sauna blankets can help with arthritis and back pain. They are also useful for anyone suffering from stress as they help the user to relax.
They are believed to help with better sleep also. Some users who have had chronic insomnia have reported that infrared sauna blankets made a huge difference to their sleep patterns.
Can infrared sauna blankets help with weight loss? As far as the long-term is concerned, there are just no studies available yet. Small studies have shown that using these blankets helped a number of people when it came to body fat loss.
What can definitely be said is that saunas in themselves are generally very healthy. If you are looking to improve your lifestyle and lose some weight, then a sauna blanket could help in this area.