Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Do a Hot Workout

WARNING: I've looked and looked and can't find any study to support what I'm going to say, but I know it works cause I've done it and can tell a huge difference.  Just be careful and know this could all be in my head lol.

The challenge is to workout without in a little hotter environment.  For a long time I thought that sweating meant you were burning more calories, but my search for something to prove that actually proved otherwise.  It's fairly understandable since various environmental factors, such as humidity, can play a roll in how much you sweat.

So what benefit does it have? It gets my heart rate up where it needs to be to burn fat effectively MUCH more quickly and with less effort.  Working out at 60-75% of your maximum heart rate has been shown to be the most effective zone for burning calories. (check out what WebMD has to say and see a formula for calculation your max HR here) In a time-crunched society, we need our workouts to be more efficient.  For me being turning off the air right before I work out gets my heart to the target zone faster and I don't have to kill myself in my workout to get there.

I'm not suggesting you go and workout in 100 degree weather.  That could be very dangerous.  Heat exhaustion and dehydration are a huge concern for working out hot.  We use window unit air conditioners in our house, so I just turn the one off in the bedroom just before my workout.  We generally keep that one at 65 degrees, anyway so it is by no means very hot in the room.

If you choose to try this challenge, then please take a few precautions.  First, make sure you've worked out and are beginning to get fit before attempting this.  I would not recommend it to anyone with heart problems or to people who don't sweat.  You do not want to overheat.  Second, take it slow.  Don't do like my hubby and workout with 3 layers of clothing in 90 degree weather right off the bat.  He's worked very hard to get there and is extremely fit.  The room I workout in probably gets to around 75-80 degrees, which is quite mild in this Houston climate.  Thirdly, stay hydrated.  Be sure to drink enough water.  Having enough water will help you recover faster and help keep you cool.  Drinking too much can make you water-logged, though so drink only just as much as you need.  If you start to feel like you're getting too hot or start getting nauseated just turn the AC back on.

So like I've said, this could all just be in my head, but I don't really think so.  I certainly notice a big difference in my workouts when I turn off the AC.  Like with anything on here, ask your doctor if you're healthy enough before trying this.

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