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April 21, 2011 at 1:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Study Suggests Exercising in Warmer Temps May be Beneficial

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Searching for ways to boost your performance and gain an advantage? We have good news! Though outdoor sports can be challenging, because of the weather conditions, new research suggests that exercising in warmer temperatures leads to an increase in overall acclimation. This is a significant part of training for events that require a person to endure hot or cold environments.

It makes sense that a person would train in hot temperatures in order to prepare for an activity that takes place in hot weather. However, what effect does training in warmer temperatures have on athletes that perform in colder situations? That was the question that researchers attempted to answer in a recent study. Highly-trained cyclists were the participants in two separate groups.

One group was tested in both hot and cold conditions while the other was only tested in cooler conditions. The same training regimen was used for both groups and the results showed ergogenic benefits in cooler temperatures for the group that was trained in heat acclimation.

Specifically, a 7 percent increase in performance after 10 heat acclimation exposures were recorded. A possible explanation is that heat acclimation actually helps the body control body temperature by improving perspiration and increasing the blood flow through the skin. In addition, more blood is pumped to the muscles, organs, and skin by the heart.

Although it was noted in the study that heat acclimation exercise should be done along with the normal training routine of the athlete, there were some other questions raised about future possibilities. The next step is to analyze how the strategy works in a competitive setting. If it can be proven that heat acclimation training does in fact have a positive impact on an athlete's performance in a real competition, outside of testing, the implications for the sports world could be substantial.

Enzymatic changes that were observed under warmer training might also represent an improvement in the amount of work that a muscle can do. Subsequently, if the work of the muscle is maximized, greater performance would logically follow. The conclusions about this scenario are not yet definite.

Finally, people with cardiac issues, paralysis, or other limitations could experience more benefits from exercise with added heat. Providing more help to these patients is a valid reason for any further studies that are being planned. This is a potentially major area of interest in fitness and medicine.

All new training programs should be monitored closely by an expert to ensure proper techniques and to lower the risk of injuries or complications. Check with your doctor and/or a qualified trainer before starting a different or supplemental method of exercising to learn more about which exercises are right for you. It is also advised to be fully informed of the precautions needed in heat training. The study described above was published in Journal of Applied Psychology. None of the research indicated a recommendation of heat acclimation training at this time. Everyone has their own fitness goals and needs to understand the various options for achieving them, as well as the best approach.


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