Does exercise in heat burn more calories?

Does exercise in heat burn more calories? We asked a physiotherapist to explain

By

Maddy Biddulph

published 29 July 22

Does exercise in heat burn more calories? We asked a physiotherapist to explain

Does exercise in heat burn more calories? The short answer is yes; when you train and it’s hot out, your cardiovascular system has to kick into overdrive to cool the body down and maintain a steady body temperature. 

If you were to do the exact same exercise in a mild climate and a hot climate, the additional ‘cooling’ efforts from your body in the warmer environment would likely lead to a higher energy expenditure.

However, the additional calories would be fairly minimal and there are are lots of other factors to take on board. Without the extra heat, you could achieve better results and burn more calories, because you could train for longer without any health risks or added stress on the body. 

Let’s take a deeper dive and find out: does exercise in the heat burn more calories? And if you prefer to totally avoid the heat when training, check out our guide to the best workout equipment for home (opens in new tab).

As outlined above, your body has to work harder in the heat to cool itself during exercise, so you could burn more calories – but any extra calories burned will have minimal impact on weight loss, says chartered exercise physiotherapist Helen O’Leary.