Safely Exercising in a Hot Room
While working out in a hot room has some distinct benefits, there is some information to keep in mind before embarking on an exercise regimen that includes a highly heated environment.
First, the concept that working out in a hot room causes you to burn more calories and/or lose more weight than working out in lower temperatures is not correct. The amount of calories burnt is the same as a workout in regular temperatures. If you stepped on a scale immediately after a hot room workout, technically, you would have lost more weight than if you had worked out in a more regular temperature. The additional weight lost, however, is entirely due to sweating more. So as soon as you hydrate yourself, you will not have lost more weight.
On a related note, it is very important to be properly hydrated. The high temperature can cause you to become dizzy, or even suffer heat stroke if you do not listen to your body and remain properly hydrated. To attain proper hydration, make sure to hydrate before, during, and after the class. While you can always drink water, it might be a good idea to drink a sports drink, instead, to help replace the sodium and potassium lost from profusely sweating.
In addition to ensuring proper hydration, it is important to listen to your body. Usually, when you are working out, you push yourself until you feel like you can’t possibly do more – and then, you push yourself to keep working out a little bit longer. When you are first beginning to work out in a hot room, however, you cannot, at first, exercise in the same way. It takes your body approximately 10 – 14 days of working out in a heated environment for your body to become used to the heat. So until your body becomes accustomed to working out in a hot room, you need to rest and hydrate, when needed, to avoid a possible heat-related illness.
A specific area to be cautious about is stretching. Working out in a heated environment makes it more comfortable for you to stretch. The extreme heat, however, can also make it difficult to discern when you need to stop stretching to avoid hurting yourself. So while the stretching is easier, you need to make sure that you are not over-stretching.
While working out in a hot room is a great way to amp up your workout, make sure to hydrate yourself and pay attention to your body’s needs. Your workout will be more effective if it is done safely.