Heat Burns Calories

Exploring Intensity

Heat Burns Calories

We have rediscovered that working out in a warm room or when it’s hot outside will help you burn more calories when you exercise. Our recent study with a subject of one (your author) found that doing the exact same workout in a warm room vs. a cold room can lead to double the calorie burn. Here’s the experiment.

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a post about how we had created the world’s most awesome at-home workout with minimal gear and minimal impact. Then the early summer weather cooled outside… and we noticed that our calorie burns were dropping while doing the exact same program which involved 10-minute warm-up, 10 minutes of medium tempo exercise and a 25-30 minute non-stop high cardio round of HIIT. This all ended with core and stretching.

Then our AC system ceased functioning. The weather warmed up, and suddenly we were back to massive sweating and high calorie burns. The difference in temperature was minor. The room went from 66-68 degrees to approx. 72-74 degrees.

Despite this, we are not advocating cranking up the heat in your house to create your own hot yoga studio.

Oh, and a word on hot yoga. It feels good, but the heat alone does not lead to calorie burn, or perhaps we’d all just lay down in a hot sauna for 30 minutes each day. We’ve worn our monitors to some of the best hot yoga studios around Newton, MA, and we did not get out of breath or crack 70% of hr max. So the calorie burns were similar to taking a brisk walk.

Wear your monitor to one of our outdoor workouts this summer, and we think you’ll see a higher cal burn. Or perhaps just turn down the AC for your at-home livestream workouts.

-Mark G.