Heating Up to Get More Out of Your Workout

  

Getting to the gym for a regular workout has long been a part of your fitness regimen. Perhaps, though, you’re not currently seeing the results you want, despite adhering to a dedicated exercise schedule. Give some thought to hot workouts, as well as switching up your exercises every six weeks or so. Working out ‘hot’ benefits the body in numerous ways and a fresh routine will see you in the gym more often.

Hot workouts increase flexibility, aid the immune system, and improve your cardiovascular health. Warmer conditions allow you to stretch further, help the body fight off infection, and improve blood circulation, which pushes fresh blood and oxygen into your cells. As an added bonus, hot workouts boost your metabolism to better absorb nutrients and break down fats, which is good news with all the holiday treats around this time of year. Now you can have that dessert and feel a little less guilty when it comes time to work it off.
If you have a home gym, you can make your own hot workout environment by cranking up your heaters (for instance, combining your in-home system with a space heater). You can also pack on extra clothing for your workout. Always be wise about how you’re feeling while working out in a different environment. Bring along water and always take a break – including going outside to cool down – if you’re feeling unwell.
A good example of a hot workout is Bikram yoga. Often known simply as hot yoga, classes are generally conducted in a 105-degree room. The instructor will likely have you repeat a series of postures, such as sun salutations, for the duration of a class. Increased heat helps your body rid itself of impurities at a quicker rate. The warmer environment will also improve your body’s flexibility – a clear benefit with yoga. Be prepared to sweat!
Advantages of a hot workout include:
1. Increased fitness
As higher temperatures warm the body, your stamina will increase. You’ll find your way into longer workouts, which can be helpful for those training for distance events like marathons or triathlons.
2. More calories burned
Your higher intensity workout will have you sweating out toxins faster than a regular workout, which will also see you burning off more calories.
3. Improves flexibility
Keeping your body warm helps improve flexibility, which is a benefit to all athletes, including yogis, swimmers, and body builders. Each type of practitioner relies on increased range of movement, whether it helps their meditative practice, increases their ability to win races, or best impresses judges at fitness competitions.
Your body is wise. It will adapt to a new style of exercise, such as hot workouts, just as it adapts to the workout routine you’ve chosen. Try Bikram yoga or turning up the heat while you kickbox, run on the treadmill, or pedal backwards on the elliptical. Just remember to keep things interesting so that you’ll be sure to visit the gym regularly without spending the day dreading your workout.
Holly Watson, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other trusted brands, is a running addict. She enjoys experimenting with her exercise and learning about new training techniques and challenges.

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