Hot Workouts: Do the Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

Dr. William O. Roberts  Hot Workouts: Do the Benefits Outweigh The Risks? Photo

Dr. William O. Roberts (

Gym rats all over the country are embracing a new way to workout, taking classes that have been around forever – yoga, pilates, cycling – and adding an element that they swear makes all the difference: heat.

These hot workouts are typically done in rooms that have been heated to temperatures ranging from the mid 80s to 158 degrees, the typical temperature for a sauna.

Devotees of these workouts believe that the buckets of sweat that pour forth during a session have a detox effect on their bodies.

Practitioners also appreciate the time that’s saved by eliminating the need to warm up your muscles before starting class – a big draw for time-crunched professionals looking for a high-intensity program in as short a period as possible.

But there are some who say that hot workouts are flawed, arguing that the heat may cause some people to slow down and exercise with less vigor than they’d be able to if it were cooler.  It also has not been scientifically proven that sweating a lot detoxes the body.

Regardless of your stance on the effectiveness of hot workouts, it’s a fact that proper hydration is a must in order to safely endure these grueling classes and minimize the risk of heat stroke. Dr. William O. Roberts, a family medicine and sports medicine doctor at the University of Minnesota, recommends these steps for staying hydrated while exercising in the heat:

“20 ounces of water two hours before exercise, at least 8 ounces of water shortly before getting out in the heat, and then a gulp every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.”

Dr. Roberts’ Vitals profile lists him as a family practitioner, specializing in sports medicine, with 30 years of experience. Visit Vitals to find a sports medicine specialist near you.

Hot yoga  Hot Workouts: Do the Benefits Outweigh The Risks? Photo

Hot yoga (


Sources: New York Times, WebMD