Why is My Gym So Darn Hot?

Have you ever noticed how gyms get pretty hot when you're working out? It's almost suffocating when you are lifting weights or running on the treadmill, as the gym temperature seems to rise the more exercise you do. It's stopped me from going to the gym many times, as I naturally have a higher body temperature than most people. I hate being hot as I work out, so I much prefer running outside than hitting the treadmill in a gym that feels too stuffy or hot.

I looked into the reason for this, and I was surprised to find that there's a reason why the gyms are so hot!

Legal Reasons

Did you know that the gym temperature and humidity has to be set at a certain level for legal reasons?

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) specifies that the average workplace tempter needs to be between 68 and 76 degrees. The humidity levels in the workplace should be anywhere between 20 and 60 percent. Gyms aren't a normal workplace, however.

Now, this is a fairly flexible guideline, so gyms have a wide range of temperatures to choose from. It seems to me that they always choose to go hotter rather than cooler.

Health Reasons

The OSHA and the American College of Sports Medicine have stated that the ideal temperature for doing Pilates, aerobics, weight training, and cardio is about 65 to 68 degrees.  This is because your body temperature rises significantly when you're doing these more active forms of exercise, so it's better for the areas to be cooler. It may just feel hot when you're lifting weights, but it's cooler in the general area than it is in the classrooms.

For the classrooms where the Yoga sessions are held, the ideal gym temperature recommendation is actually up around 80 degrees. Yoga is no less excellent as exercise, but it doesn't involve as much moving around and physical activity as weight lifting or running. The high temperature ensures that your body stays warm while you are in your various Yoga poses, and prevents you from getting chilled as you relax and breathe deeply.

For the pool areas, the ideal temperature recommendation is anywhere between 70 and 80. Water tends to cool off the temperature in its surroundings, so the water of the pool can actually make you feel cold when you get out. Even if the water is warm, getting out of the pool exposes you to air - which, if it's cool, can cause you to get sick. For this reason, the temperature is a bit higher in the pool area than in the rest of the gym.

Weight Loss Reasons

Did you know that a higher temperature means a faster metabolism? When the temperature is higher, your body has to produce more energy to keep up with the increased blood flow that results from high heat. You'll find that your heart pumps faster, your blood flows more easily, but you'll get tired more quickly. However, the faster metabolism means that you'll burn more fat than you would in a cooler environment.

If you've ever weighed yourself after a good gym session, you'll notice that you lose a lot more weight than you did working out at home or outside. This is just because you've just lost a whole lot of body weight via your sweat, not because you have burned a lot of fat. However, the good news about sweating a lot is that it will help to promote detoxification, which makes it easier for you to lose weight. It's basically a win-win situation, and that is why your gym is so darn hot!

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