Over the span of six million years the human species has developed a wide array of mechanisms to help cope with the various stressors we face on a regular basis. Examples include modifications in gene expression at the cellular level to help survive environmental changes as well as permanent alterations in cellular structure to enable us survive long-term adversity. Scientific research over the past several decades has discovered a multitude of ways the human species has evolved to survive and thrive in earth’s ever-changing environment. Research has shown and documented the remarkable adaptations humans can make to high altitude environments. Heat acclimation has been found to cause even more substantial improvements in aerobic performance than altitude acclimatization. Recent studies have found that heat acclimation causes physiological changes that also improve aerobic exercise performance in cool and “normal” conditions. The numerous physiological gains from heat acclimation include reduced oxygen uptake, muscle glycogen sparing, reduced blood lactate levels, increased skeletal muscle force generation, plasma volume expansion, improved myocardial efficiency, and increased ventricular compliance. Studies have also shown that exercising or working in the heat result in even greater physiological benefits. Exercise in heat, as compared with a neutral environment, causes many additional changes in the dynamics of the human body, including alterations in the the circulatory, thermoregulatory and endocrine systems.(32) A number of interrelated physiologic processes work in concert to keep the core temperature stable, maintain central blood pressure and muscular function , and regulate fluid volume.(32)  

“Active Thermal Exercise” (“ATE”) includes cardiovascular (aerobic), strength or flexibility exercise performed in high temperature environments. Scientific research has established that the synergistic effect of exercise done in a heated environment causes a number of physiological changes which result in multiple benefits including the following:

  1. Heat Acclimatization/Acclimation
  2. Cardiovascular Changes
  3. Biochemical Changes
  4. Benefits for the Brain
  5. Benefits for the Muscles
  6. Improved Body Composition
  7. Greater Longevity