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Do I burn more calories exercising in the heat?

It is unclear if you burn more calories in the heat; there is conflicting data on the subject. However, if more energy is burned it is likely to be negligible compared to the risk of overheating. Exercising in extreme heat can be very dangerous and it is extremely important to maintain good hydration. It can be easy to overheat, which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke can occur without any symptoms of heat exhaustion and can be fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are fatigue, nausea, headaches and excessive thirst. Symptoms of heat stroke are the same as heat exhaustion but can also include flushed, dry skin, decreased sweating, increased body temperature (104 degrees to 106 degrees F), delirium, loss of consciousness and convulsions.
Working out in any environmental extreme can be very dangerous, and caution should be used at all times. Exercise related heat strokes claim the lives of many people each year. Heat exhaustion occurs due to the inability of the body to efficiently use its natural internal cooling mechanism (sweating). When sweat evaporates from the skin, it cools down the body. During strenuous activity in heat and high humidity, the air is already saturated, which means no more moisture can be absorbed by the air. In these conditions, you will sweat profusely, but it will not appropriately cool the body because it can not effectively evaporate. However, you can burn more calories if you exercise in cold temperatures. If the temperature is cold enough to force you to shiver, your metabolism and amount of calories burned per hour will increase. This may be impractical because the temperature would have to be cold enough to counteract the heat you generate during physical exertion. Although you would not be at risk for heat stroke, working out in extremely cold environments also poses health risks, and caution should be exercised.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.