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Good Housekeeping
Jennifer Chan, Assistant Managing Editor
March 26, 2012

Obese Women Have Longer Workouts with Lower Body Temperature, Study Suggests

Research shows that body temperature can influence the amount of time you spend on the treadmill. By Jennifer Chan

If you want to spend more time working out, try cooling your hands while exercising. According to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions, women who are able to keep their body temperature lower while exercising can lengthen their workout hours and achieve better results

Researchers studied 24 obese women between the ages 30 and 45 as they exercised at a gym. For 12 weeks, half of the women worked out with their hands in a cylinder with water at 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), while the other half worked out with the same device holding water at 98.6 degrees (37 C). Neither group was aware of the difference. Both groups started their exercise routines the same way—push-ups first, then lunges, and eventually leading to time on the treadmill, which was where the cylinders were. 

Based on the results, it appeared that the group in which the women had cooler hands continued exercising while the other group quit earlier. The same ladies spent less time walking 1.5 miles on the treadmill and lost almost three inches off their respective waists by the end of the 12 weeks. They also had lower resting blood pressures and better exercise heart rates.

"Obese women often complain about sweating and getting tired because they're walking around with extra insulation," explained Stacy T. Sims, PhD, the study's lead researcher and exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at Stanford University in California. "If you can slow the rate internal temperature rises and cool someone who is obese, they don't store as much heat and don't feel as uncomfortable. They can do more work."

For more on obesity, check these out on FN:


Need ideas for exercise? Check these out:


(Screencap via YouTube)

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Jennifer Chan
Assistant Managing Editor
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
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