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No, you don't burn far more calories in the heat

It's summertime which means more people are getting active outside. With that heat comes the idea that you're burning more calories, but is that necessarily true?

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The heat is in full swing right now throughout Arkansas, and for many that means sweating more. 

With the temperatures soaring, this has some thinking that it's a good opportunity to get fit. But it's also caused many to ask-- "Do you burn more calories in hotter temperatures?"

Our experts are Dr. Bala Simon, Arkansas' Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Natalie Cannady, UAMS' Chief Wellness Officer.

According to Dr. Simon, this comes down to a common misconception.  

"People have a sense that if they sweat a lot they are burning calories, but that's not necessarily true," said Simon.

He said heat doesn't have much to do with how many calories you are burning. In fact, the heat could actually be counterproductive to exerting those calories according to Simon. 

"If you're exercising in heat, people don't sustain long enough, so they may have to cut short their exercise time," he said.

Dr. Simon said this idea of burning more calories in hot weather was hyped up due to marketing schemes.

"The sweat lodges and things like that. If you google them you will find them... where they do meditation and things like that," said Dr. Simon.

This is misconception is something that other experts are speaking on as well.

Natalie Cannady, UAMS' Chief Wellness Officer said any drastic change in weather could impact how your body exerts calories.

"If you're hotter [then] your body is stressed, so your body is going to push more blood to the surface, so your heart rate is going to go up and that's stressing your body. The same thing on the other side, exercising in the cold," said Cannady.

So, in theory there could be mild caloric differences... but is it worth the heat?

"The difference would be maybe 5, 10, 15 calories," said Cannady.

So, we can Verify-- No, you don't burn far more calories in the hotter temperatures. 

This is false.

If there's something you would like to be verified, you can email us at verify@thv11.com.

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