With an average Summer high temperature of 105 degrees in Metro Phoenix, hiking or running in the heat can make your usual routine feel even more challenging. But does that mean it burns more calories too? The truth is, there isn’t an easy answer.
Heat Increases Intensity
In hot weather, it does take more cardiovascular effort to keep the body cool, which occurs by moving more blood to the skin to increase sweating. Therefore, working out in warm weather would most likely use more energy and burn more calories than exercising at lower temperatures.
But Cold Burns Fat
However, despite the intensity of working out in the heat, ironically you may burn more calories in a cooler environment, which is shown to increase fat metabolism and caloric expenditure.
These claims are shown scientifically; a study was done in 1997 that demonstrated how cool temperature could reduce obesity, and research that was done in 2014 showed that energy expenditure goes up in during cold exposure.
Heat has Unique Benefits
But there may be other benefits to working out in the heat. What about hot yoga? There may be befitting. Hot temperatures have been thought to keep muscles loose and pliable, and heat may increase the detoxifying effects of sweating.
When you do head outside into the Arizona heat, keep these three tips in mind to avoid heat-related illness. First, choose heat-friendly apparel by seeking out fabrics labeled “moisture-wicking.” Next, hydrate smart with plenty of water and electrolytes, and finally, if it’s simply too much, try a free fitness class at one of the Phoenix Valley’s many gyms and health clubs!