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Temperature regulation and workouts: The importance of keeping cool

BySteve Stones

Oct 21, 2020 #health

With the New Years celebrations over and done with, many of us will be thinking of ways to work off those post-Christmas pounds in the gym. If you’re already a regular gym-goer, you’ll be well aware of just how much more effective a workout can be when the temperature is cooler and the air conditioning is on. But just how important is temperature regulation for sports and exercise – and are there any legal measures in place to ensure that your workouts are performed under safe conditions? We look into the importance of keeping cool with the help of Daikin, experts in HVAC.

The risks of high-temperature workouts

Working out in a gym that’s overheated can make you uncomfortable – but it’s also a risk to your health. Dehydration and heat stroke are notable risks of working out in an overheated gym. But even just sweating too much can be a problem. Fitness website We Be Fit advises that whilst sweating too much can result in one pound of extra weight loss after a workout, the perceived weight loss is actually caused by loss of fluids due to increased sweating. The article suggests that working out in an overheated gym for a long period can result in a 50% less effective workout! All that sweating for nothing.

The risks of low-temperature workouts

Gyms that are too cold are a lot rarer, however it does happen and it’s just as dangerous as an overly hot gym. My Inner Go looked at the pros and cons of working out in a cold environment and found that chilly temperatures brought with it a higher risk of injury. This is because muscles tend to seize up in the cold (which is why warming up before physical activity is so important). The website offered a great analogy for cold muscles: consider them like Play-Doh! When Play-Doh gets cold, it goes stiff and doesn’t stretch, it just snaps. But warm Play-Doh is stretchy and flexible.

Rules and regulations

The UK does not currently have any legal rules and regulations in place relating to temperature control in gyms or leisure centres, instead these safety regulations are covered by standard health and safety laws. In this case, we can use minimum workplace temperature requirements as an estimate of what constitutes a comfortable temperature during activity. According to the Approved Code of practice, workplaces should maintain a base temperature of at least 16°C (or 13°C for workplaces requiring intense physical effort). Again, this isn’t a legal requirement, but it gives an idea of what an optimum temperature is for comfortably engaging in physical activity.

A study by Sport England revealed that the ideal temperature for fitness gyms was between 16 and 18°C in the summer with ‘comfort cooling’ as needed and 18°C for studios.

Maintaining the ideal temperature

Investing in an efficient, responsive air conditioning unit will help regulate a comfortable temperature within the building, with units in Daikin’s air conditioning range offering low energy consumption models to fit your carbon emission targets.  It is imperative that gyms and leisure centres are able to maintain optimum temperatures for their clients. Keeping a good temperature through a facility will ensure customers stay happy and are more likely to keep coming back. If the gym starts to get a reputation for being freezing cold or too stuffy, gym goers will quickly turn to other establishments.

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