Some Like It Hot: The Benefits of Working Out in the Heat
Global temperatures are on the rise, and summers are quickly becoming infamous for their intense heat. That doesn’t mean it has to interfere with your workout routine. In fact, there are a few advantages to working out when it's hot outside.
It Helps You Cool Down
Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? Don’t let that fool you though: working out in the heat has been proven to develop your ability to keep cool. This is due to the increased blood flow you experience when working out. The blood rushes to the skin and away from your core organs so they don’t get overheated. Over time, your body gets acclimated to the heat and can regulate your internal temperature better. You will find that you start sweating earlier, the first indication that your body is cooling off.
Increases your VO2 max
Vo2 max is your body’s ability to consume oxygen. Oxygen is essential in red blood cell production, which in turn is necessary for your muscles to work. Therefore, the more oxygen you can intake, the more likely you will be able to run faster: assuming that your oxygen is being used efficiently. When working out in the heat, it forces your cardiovascular system to work overtime, thereby increasing your Vo2 max. As an added bonus this will help your ability to work out for longer periods of time, however, it does take longer to develop, so be patient with your body’s limits.
No, we’re not counting the loss of water weight. Working out in the heat increases the stress load on your body, forcing it to become more efficient with everything from circulation, to sweating, to breathing. Soon you’ll be able to work out in a variety of temperatures and conditions more efficiently and effectively.