The Benefits of Exercising in Heat

19 July 2015

Autumn’s cool, less sticky weather may feel more conducive to working out, but pushing yourself in the summer heat could help improve your performance and flexibility in your Sleek Technique workouts as well as lots of other fitness-based activities. So long as the right precautions are taken, hot-weather workouts may give you the boost you are after to improve your endurance, stamina and muscle suppleness. Hot-weather training may even eclipse high-altitude training when it comes to improving your performance! Here’s what you need to know to sweat it out safely.

How Heat Can Boost Exercise Performance

There’s some science behind how heat can help improve fitness levels: Researchers from the University of Oregon tracked the performance of 12 high-level cyclists over a 10-day training period in 37-degree heat. Another control group did the exact same exercise regimen in a much more comfortable, 13-degree room. Both groups worked in 30 percent humidity.

Researchers discovered that the cyclists who worked through the heat improved their performance by a further 7 percent. What surprised researchers most was that the experimental group not only showed that they had achieved a level of heat acclimatisation, but the training also helped them to function better in cooler environments.

Try these tips to stay safe when the heat is on.

Drink up. You obviously sweat more as it gets hotter and more humid, so you’ve got to make sure you’re replacing all those fluids as you exercise in extreme weather. Doctors recommend consuming 450 to 700ml of water a couple of hours before exercising in hot temperatures. Then take in another 150 to 250ml of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. If you’re looking to do something moderate for less than an hour, water should be fine, anything more intense you may require sports drinks to get those carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Mind the humidity. Humidity is also a huge factor to take into account. The principle way in which the body cools itself during exercise is through sweat. It hits our skin’s surface and it evaporates to cool the body. In a humid environment, you don’t experience as much of that evaporative cooling effect because the environment is already pretty saturated with fluid. Consider moving workouts indoors on days that are extremely humid. It just makes the environment less stressful on your body.

Don’t go overboard. Finally, you might feel tempted to push your body past its limits, but in training and over the Sleek Retreat week especially you have the chance to improve your heat acclimatisation, stamina and conditioning over time without pushing yourself too hard. Make sure to wear breathable clothing and don’t go overboard on intensity during the first couple hot workouts.

See you for some sunshine Sleeking soon! V xx

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