Reasons for the Heat
- Enhances vasodilatation* so that more blood is delivered to the muscles
- Allows oxygen in the blood to detach from the hemoglobin more easily**
- Speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids
- Makes muscles more elastic, less susceptible to injury
- Improves coordination
- Reduces heart irregularities associated with sudden exercise
- Burns fat more easily.***
*The capillaries that weave around the muscles respond to heat by dilating. This brings more oxygen to the muscles and helps in the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
**When blood passes through warm muscles oxygen releases more easily from the hemoglobin. Blood passing through cold muscles releases much less oxygen.
***Warmed muscles burn fat more easily than cold ones. Fat is released during stress.
The stress of intense exercise causes a deluge of fatty acids into the blood streams. If you exercise with cold muscles they can’t use the fatty acids, and they end up in places where they aren’t wanted, such as the lining of your arteries.
Note: Muscles aren’t the only beneficiaries of heat. Higher temperatures improve the function of the nervous system, meaning that messages are carried more rapidly to and from the brain or SPINAL CORD. Warm muscles are more elastic and are less susceptible to injury. Warmer temperatures produce a fluid like stretch that allows greater range of motion. Cold muscles don’t absorb shock or impact as well and aren’t stretched as well so they get injured more readily.
Excerpt from “Smart Exercise” by Covert Bailey