3 best desert vacations

There are health benefits to exercising in higher temps.

In addition to getting more vitamin D, a study conducted by The American Physiological Society found that exercising in warmer environments (slightly above 99 degrees Fahrenheit) raises overall alertness and mental awareness and increases blood plasma volume, which ultimately leads to better cardiovascular fitness. Perhaps most surprisingly, these developments make a person train better in cold temperatures, and additionally far exceed the benefits of conditioning at altitude, according to research conducted at the University of Oregon. Athletes in this latter test performed at 100 degrees Fahrenheit at no altitude and 55 degrees Fahrenheit for ten consecutive days at altitude before their fitness was evaluated.

"Be it temperature or altitude, your body will adapt to the stress those variables create in order to perform at its best," explains Matt Berenc, director of education at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. "Those adaptations will persist for a period even after the stress is removed. So if you have an event coming up like a race, then this could be an additional tool to help give you a competitive edge."

Of course, Berenc adds that exercising in heat increases sweat rate and the potential for dehydration, so it should be approached with caution.

Here, three summer locales that are both sybaritic and perfect for outdoor activities.

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