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Your calorie expenditure is generally based on your body weight, workout intensity and duration of physical activity. However, exposing your body to hot temperatures during exercise does affect its calorie expenditure because of your body's need to cool itself, according to the American Council on Exercise. However, if you're going to work out in extreme heat, beware of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses, according to authors of a 2011 review in the вЂњJournal of Athletic Training.вЂќ
Hot vs. Cold Temperatures
According to the American Council on Exercise, you will indeed burn more calories in extreme heat than in moderate, more comfortable conditions. This is because your body expends additional energy trying to cool itself by pumping blood to your skin and sweating. On the flip side, working out in extreme cold temperatures -- which can cause your body to shiver -- may burn even more calories than sweating in extreme heat. This is because shivering is your body's way of expending energy to regulate your body temperature. ACE reports that shivering alone can burn 400 calories per hour.
Although working out in extreme heat increases your calorie expenditure, doing so for long periods of time isn't safe. Heat-related ailments have serious side effects, and can even lead to death. Northwestern Oklahoma State University reports that symptoms of heat-related injuries include reduced physical performance, heat rash, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, headaches, nausea, loss of strength, fainting and loss of consciousness. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately, cool off your body and drink plenty of water. Medical care is can be necessary if symptoms are severe.
Overall Calorie Expenditure
To maximize your calorie burning and reduce your risk for heat-related ailments, work out in a warm to moderate climate and avoid extreme heat and cold, recommends the American Council on Exercise. Moderate-temperature workout conditions can actually help you exercise for longer periods of time, which helps them to be the most effective for burning fat and calories, according to ACE.
Just because you've lost weight after one workout in extreme heat doesn't mean you've reduced your body fat. Chances are if you've lost a pound of body weight -- or more -- during the course of your hot-weather workout, you're dehydrated and the weight is simply water. You'd have to burn 3,500 calories during a single workout to lose 1 pound of body fat, reports MayoClinic.com. For every pound you lose during a workout in extreme heat, drink 2 to 3 cups of water to replace lost fluids, suggests the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.