This summer forget air-conditioned workouts. The heat is getting turned up in your regular fitness classes.
Ever used ‘it’s too hot’ as an excuse to not exercise? Heat is the new fashionable trend sweeping its way through the fitness world. If you haven’t yet tried it, get ready to sweat it out in temperatures of 30 degrees and higher.
Heated exercise classes are popping up worldwide, with studios and gyms offering not only hot yoga classes (also known as bikram yoga) but hot cycling and hot TRX suspension training, even the latest craze of barre body classes offer a heated option.
So what makes heat so good? It could be the assumption people make that if you sweat more you’re getting a better workout.
But do hot exercises really offer a better workout and burn more calories?
It’s hard to think that you’re not getting a better workout in a hot room when you’re dripping with sweat and your heart is thumping in your chest. And for the most part, this is true. We do tend to think that we’re working out harder, that is, our perception of the level of our exertion increases in the heat. But in reality, our workout benefits might be suffering. Because we’re working extra hard to cool ourselves down, we’re taking energy away from the intensity of our exercise.
What’s more, we can’t rely on our heart rate to give an honest reading of how many calories we’re burning. Your heart may be pumping, but this is a result of trying to cool yourself down, not of how hard you’re exercising. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t burning more calories but more research is needed to determine any results.
Research done on bikram yoga proves that the exercise is safe if done in a room temperature between 30-35 degrees with a humidity level between 35-40% – but you must keep well hydrated.
For classes done at higher temperatures and higher levels of cardio, such as cycling, scientists warn to take precaution. There is a risk of heat stroke if your core temperature gets too high. Remembering you’re core temperature will already be higher than normal due to the cardio it is important to be aware of your body.
Tips for taking heat classes
By BB Inter Dominique Tait
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