Studies have found that exercising in the heat helps improve athletic performance. This is especially true for endurance athletes.
For example, the University of Oregon conducted research on 12 highly trained cyclists. Each participant’s performance was assessed before and after a 10-day heat acclimation program. After this acclimation period, the participant’s performance improved by seven percent.
These improvements transfer to those who also work out in cooler weather conditions. How?
According to the researchers, heat acclimation helps the body learn how to better control its core body temperature. This is critical in both cold and warm settings. Acclimation also improves skin blood flow and expands blood volume. This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood where it is needed most.
Although training in the heat offers some benefits, it does have drawbacks too.
The Mayo Clinic reports exercising in a high temperature environment can sometimes result in heat-related illness. The most common illnesses include:
Heat stress and heat-related illness are a major concern. Reduce this concern by helping clients acclimate to the heat and humidity common in summer training sessions.