Beauty & Health, Fitness

Does Working Out in the Hot Weather Burn More Calories?

By Nicole Flanagan

Does Working Out in the Hot Weather Burn More Calories?

A friend and I went out for a run last week, the temperature outside was still about eighty-five degrees and humid. As you can imagine, it took all of five minutes at a reasonable pace and we were both covered in sweat before we were even breathing hard. My friend asked me if we were burning more calories running in hot weather. I said no, we are just dehydrating faster than if we were running in cold weather.

When you go for a walk in one hundred degree weather don’t be fooled that the sweat pouring off your body is excess fat just melting away. The fact is that you will burn about the same number of calories walking in hot weather than you would walking in cooler weather. If you were to step on the scale immediately after your workout you will initially weigh less, but once you re-hydrate, you replace the water weight that you lost during the workout. The most important thing to remember when working out in hot conditions is to keep your body hydrated. Your body can burn calories much more effectively if it is well hydrated, so the more water you drink the better you will feel, and the better your body will be able to cool itself. When working out in warmer weather, you should be doing whatever you can to keep your body cool in order to avoid any heat related illnesses. The same goes for exercise classes like hot yoga. A hot room may offer some advantage in terms of muscle flexibility, but as for calories burned it is going to be about the same as a cooler yoga class. As for those individuals who believe that working out in one of those plastic “sweat suits” will help them lose weight, they are wrong. In fact, those suits are ineffective and can be very dangerous. For one, they don’t allow the sweat to evaporate off the skin, which is the body’s primary way of cooling itself. Another problem is that it can allow any toxins that may be in the suit to seep into the skin and cause illness.

In case you are wondering, the only time extreme temperatures affect the amount of calories burned is when it is so cold that you begin to shiver. Shivering is an involuntary response where muscles clench in order to generate heat to keep the body warm. If you are so cold that your teeth are chattering and you have to do jumping jacks to keep warm, you can burn up to three times more calories than normal. That being said, I still would not recommend going running in a bathing suit in December.

The safest and most effective way to increase your calorie burn during a workout is to change things up and stay hydrated. Especially in this August heat, keeping your body cool and well fueled is going to be your greatest advantage. Heat related illness can come on quickly, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day as well as when you are exercising or playing outside.


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