By Monique Bartlett
September 11th, 2013 Edition
Now that summer is almost over, fitness enthusiasts are still trying to get out there and lose weight while running, cycling or working out in the hot temperatures. They claim that the weather increases the body temperature due to the heat and sweat, and that the increased temperature results in more calories burned and losing more weight. Some even believe the body pushes itself more to deal with the temperature. This is only partially true though. You don’t burn more calories just because it is hot.
Sweating is perceived to be a form of weight loss. You need to actively engage muscles to burn calories and sweating happens to be a byproduct of doing so. Sweating is the body’s way to control body temperature. In hot weather, the heart needs to work harder to make sure the body temperature is maintained. Training in temperatures that are too high may result in a lower intensity of exercise and may not be as effective.
Working out in the heat can be a risk. You should take the necessary precautions to keep your body as cool as possible. Symptoms of heat exhaustion vary from heavy sweating, clammy skin, nausea or weakness. Weakness in any part of the body, losing consciousness and leg cramps can be common.
It’s necessary to make sure you have adequate hydration by drinking enough water or replenishing moisture loss with electrolytes such as Gatorade. It’s also important to wear moisture wicking clothes and footwear, and wear sunscreen and a hat. If you have any doubts about your ability to work out in the heat, just don’t do it. Workout inside or wait until it gets cooler outside.