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Will I burn more calories exercising in the heat?

July 8th, 2013 No Comments



The general consensus among the experts – Livestrong and others – is NO.  All that sweat is just your body’s way of cooling down.  And detoxing, which we all need in the summer months.

You might be surprised to hear exercising in extreme cold weather helps you burn more calories.  Shivering is the action of your muscles contracting.  I didn’t know that. As someone who can’t stand being outside when it’s cold,  any exercise apart from skiing is torture.  For some reason, running when it’s cold makes my inner ears hurt.

Heat is my jam.  I’m a born and bred Texan!

So here’s the deal with the heat:

High temperature gets our heart rate up faster.  The heat expedites the muscles warming up period as well.  Unfortunately the heat tires our bodies quickly so we can’t physically DO as much.  This means, our bodies get exhausted quickly and our muscles don’t get their full workout.  I think this is why hot yoga is efficient: increased heart rate without a lot of movement plus strength and flexibility training.

To me it sounds like the ideal scenario would be to do cardio warm up outside in the heat and then move inside to do a lifting workout. Your heart and muscles are ready to rock after a little heat wave workout.

This is rare for me.  I either workout out inside or outside.

What’s the most effective outdoor workout?

If you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, you know the answer because the watch will tell you (if you have it set up for you specifically).  Cardio days will only require you move outside until your heart gets into zone 4 (anaerobic zone).  If you’re looking for a fat burning day or strength training, get your heart to zone 3  and then slow down, find some shade, and put your muscles to work.


Check out my outdoor Runyon Canyon workout here.  You have options all round you if you keep your eyes open.  If you just go on a walk, you can tone up your arms with weights or rocks.  See my video for movements.

Mary Rambin and Terry Rambin hiking


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