Exercising in Hot Weather vs Cold Weather: Which Is Better?
For many people, it takes a lot of motivation to start exercising. Then, it gets even harder when they experience extreme weather conditions, whether that be a scorching summer heat wave or a frigid winter freeze. The thought of this may send you running to the gym to escape the weather, but some studies suggest you may be missing out. This makes us ask if we should exercise in less than ideal weather conditions. When it comes to exercising in hot weather vs cold weather, which is the best for a beneficial workout?
Advantages of Hot Weather
The top advantage to exercising in the heat is the fact that it helps you perform better in cooler temperatures. In one study, a group of cyclists split into two groups. One half of them trained in 104-degree weather for 10 days of moderate workouts. This included cycling for 45 minutes, resting for 10 minutes, and cycling for another 45 minutes. The other half of the group did the same exercise for 10 days, but they trained in 55-degree weather. When the group came back together, they all trained in 55-degree weather. The cyclists that spent time exercising in the intense heat not only biked faster than the other cyclists, but they also 5 percent more aerobic power and 9.1 percent more cardiac output.
The reason this group of cyclist performed better is because they had more plasma in their blood. When you exercise in the heat, your body sends blood to the muscles to keep them working and the skin to keep you cool. In hot weather, there may be competition between getting blood to the muscles and the skin. As a result, your body just creates more plasma, which increases the volume of blood and the amount of oxygen in it. This increase helps you to perform in less scorching conditions much better.
Advantages of Cold Weather
While exercising in hot weather can help you perform better in cooler conditions, exercising in cold weather can help you exercise longer. When it is cold outside, your body regulates its internal temperature better. This means that it is harder for you to overheat. Exercising in cold weather allows you to exercise longer, meaning that you can burn more calories. You may have also heard that shivering burns calories, but you should not be shivering while you exercise. If you are, you are either not working out hard enough or not wearing the right clothing.
It is important to note that cold weather can make it harder for you to know what your body needs, especially if you are not used to it. You still need to make sure you stay hydrated. If you cannot tell, just make sure you consistently drink water before, during, and after your workout.
Exercising in Hot Weather vs Cold Weather
When it comes to exercising in hot weather vs cold weather, there is not one that is better than the other. Exercising in both of these extreme conditions can give you a mental edge that helps you perform better, especially if you are competing with others. You can then tell yourself that if you can exercise in the extreme hot or the extreme cold, you can easily perform in more mild conditions. Just make sure you listen to your body. It is okay to slow down. You should also make sure you are eating right and properly preparing for your workout. With all those in mind, enjoy your current workouts and prepare for the coming cold.