Exercise And Yoga In The Heat
As well as increasing how much you sweat, training in heat can increase your blood plasma volume, which ultimately results in better cardiovascular health. It can also reduce your overall core temperature as well as your blood lactate. Further benefits include an increase in skeletal muscle force.
A major benefit of training in hotter temperatures is how much better you will, therefore, perform in colder temperatures. Heat training has been proven to increase a higher VO2 maximum than altitude training.
Heat training is used by athletes in many sports in preparing for competition in hotter environments. This is primarily done to acclimatise to the hotter temperatures so that they sweat sooner to cool down. This also results in losing less sodium in sweat and reducing the risk of dehydration.
The idea for training in the heat for some is based on the fact that the heart pumps more blood to help to cool your body when it gets hot. However, there is a debate as to how much this will affect calorie burning and fat loss.
Research states that exercise in temperatures upwards of 40 C increases muscle glycogen oxidation and reduces whole-body fat oxidation in comparison to the same exercise intensity performed at 20 C.
Another use for heat training is Bikram yoga, which is becoming more and more popular around the world.
Hot yoga has been proven to increase flexibility and assist detoxification.
A study by the American Council on Exercise found that a group of people doing yoga at a temperature of 70 degrees maintained the same heart rate and core temperature as they did at 92 degrees. Participants of the classes declared the hotter class more difficult. The research concluded that doing yoga at 95 degrees or more differed in results and that hot yoga was as safe as regular yoga.
Psychologically, it is suggested that powering through the discomfort of performing yoga in the heat is a strength that also translates beyond the yoga mat. Never underestimate how physical exercise can also benefit your mental health. With the character building struggle of hot yoga, it can have a positive effect on your self-esteem and ability to manage your stress levels.
People with underlying health issues, such as heart conditions, should avoid yoga and any other strenuous exercise in hotter temperatures. Anyone uncomfortable with the heat should gradually acclimatise to avoid dehydration and exhaustion.
The slight increase in heart rate doesn’t match that of high-intensity interval training.
Training in the heat instead of a more comfortable climate also bears a compromise; if it is proven to be more difficult without the consolation of considerably better results, you may want to consider the expense of the training session. In other words, is it worth training in the heat if you could have worked for longer and reaped more from a regular training session?
Looking at the regularity of your training, whereas once in a while a hot training session may work up a sweat among the other benefits of heat training, this won’t outweigh the positives of constant, consistent training in more comfortable climates.