Hello!

There are some benefits of exercising in the heat for fitness, in particular, the short term effects on the heart.

Exercising in a high temperature (over 32 deg), regularly for 5-10 days at a moderate level for 60 minutes causes a heat adaptation effect, which means that your body increases circulating blood volume and your heart is able to pump more efficiently when in high temperatures.

Great if you’re an athlete!

This improves fitness performance in the short term, however, this performance improvement is only really limited to high performance athletes and not the average person. In addition, more training in the heat does produce further improvements in performance and training in the heat needs to continue in order to maintain improvements. So fitness training in the heat is good in preparation for an event or if the event you are participating in is in the heat, but not for long term fitness.

Great for weight loss

The other potential benefit of exercising in high temperatures is weight loss. Exercising at the same intensity in hot temperatures does use more energy than the same exercise intensity exercise in colder temperatures.

However, it is hard to maintain the same level of intensity of exercise at high temperatures compared to low temperature, so the effects balance out.

Sweating itself is a passive process and doesn’t mean that you are working harder and burning more energy. Bikram Yoga doesn’t burn much more kilojoules than regular yoga and burns a lot less kilojoules than regular cardio training.

It’s up to you what you enjoy doing, but it’s all about sustainability. If you can maintain this as part of your lifestyle then the benefits will be worth it. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • Thanks for the info, but this is not for me.

    Reply

  • I remember living in Darwin 2 years ago and feeling that I would die it I was made to walk further than 100m haha power to those who are about this type of exercise

    Reply

  • That is quite interesting! Good read!

    Reply

  • Thats an interesting post. Im well supposely to be getting fit again but have lost the motivation…but interesting part, how does steam room help? Is it more for recovery muscles and warming up so your not too sore the next day? Ive been told you lose some part of weight from it, but this article says bikram yoga doesnt burn much kj, so sounds like steam room would be the same too? I did see the different 6 years back when i was doing running in the heat, i coped out well….i wouldnt do it in the state that i am in as being obese.

    Reply

  • Interesting – thanks, will look into this out of interest.

    Reply

  • I cannot see the benefit in this – why exercise to an extreme unless you are an extreme athlete.

    Reply

  • I tend to walk in the morning so the temperature is normally cooler, even on a really hot day. I have had yin yoga classes on really hot nights. Apparently the heat is ideal for this type of yoga, but we have been known to have the fan on too to circulate some air.

    Reply

  • Yes, I have tried bikram yoga too and quite like it. I can imagine to do some exercising in the swimming pool in the heat, but anything else is not attracting me, lol.

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  • I remember going to Bikram yoga a few years back. The yoga teacher said that be because your body is working in a higher heat, which you can perform deeper stretches. If I am going to exercise at high temperatures, it will be in a swimming pool or Bikram yoga.

    Reply

  • Thankfully for me I have a good excuse not to exercise in hot weather…lol
    Im on medication that stops me from sweating so I can overheat easily and need to be very careful to makes sure I stay cool.
    Thats my excuse and Im sticking to it.

    Reply

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