Living Longer: One of the Benefits of Heated Classes
It’s no surprise, we love our heated classes! And although many of our members enjoy them as well, have you ever questioned why we have heated classes and what they do to your body?
We can assure you that we don’t just use heated rooms to make you suffer! Heated training and heat stress in general, has been shown to have many benefits. One of those benefits is longevity, a.ka the ability to enhance your lifespan!  When your body is stressed by heat, it increases the production of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs). These proteins act as chaperones for other molecules and also act to regulate the folding of proteins. When proteins become misfolded, this leads to a disruption in how they function and can ultimately lead to something called protein aggregates. Protein misfolding is a natural occurrence due to metabolism, however, as you age, your body becomes less efficient at managing misfolding and aggregates can accumulate. Protein aggregates are associated with various disorders throughout the body which can lessen an individual’s lifespan .
HSPs* role in protein management, among others, is one of the key reasons that heat stress has been shown to enhance longevity and reduce mortality. Heat stress is particularly useful for cardiovascular health (cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death) as it increases heart rate, plasma volume, vascular compliance and more .
When you exercise, your bodies internal temperature increases and thus there will be an increase in HSPs. When you combine that with the stress of an increase in ambient temperature from the room, our body temperatures can increase even more creating a more robust response from the HSPs. Even practices like sauna use can raise HSPs and have been shown to enhance longevity.
So next time you’re working hard and sweating it out in one of our heated classes, know that you’re also enhancing your bodies ability to repair proteins and enhance your longevity!
*Heat Shock Proteins
- Murshid, A., Eguchi, T. & Calderwood, S. K. Stress proteins in aging and life span. International Journal of Hyperthermia 29, 442–447 (2013).
- Singh, R. et al. Heat-shock protein 70 genes and human longevity: A view from Denmark. in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences vol. 1067 301–308 (Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2006).
- Fehrenbach E. & Niess AM. Role of heat shock proteins in the exercise response. Exerc Immunol Rev. 5, 57–77 (1999).
- Aguzzi, A. & O’Connor, T. Protein aggregation diseases: Pathogenicity and therapeutic perspectives. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery vol. 9 237–248 (2010).
- Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F. & Laukkanen, J. A. Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA Internal Medicine 175, 542–548 (2015).