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Workout warriors embrace the heat at Kansas City gyms with no air conditioning

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Despite scorching temperatures, some people across the metro are still working out at their gyms that don’t use air conditioning. FOX 4’s Molly Balkenbush went to Freight House Fitness in the West Bottoms to talk to clients.

“People pay to go sit in a 100-degree something room because it’s a sauna, and it’s the same thing except for you are working out,” said Jaclyn McClain, who loves working out on days like Friday.

Doctor Stephen Lauer, with the University of Kansas Medical Center, said it’s best to skip outdoor workouts on days like this. He said the key is to listen to your body and if you feel dizzy or confused, you are past the point of a safe workout.

“Being in better condition will help your body be used to managing those extreme of temperatures but you still have to, no matter how well conditioned you are, the heat today, tomorrow, everybody has to be careful about this,” said Dr. Lauer.

Boot camp instructors tell FOX 4 they know the signs to look out for.

“Flushed in the face, or white in the face and just them sitting off to the side or hunched over taking deeper breaths, I keep an eye out for those signs,” said Stefanie Will, with Freight House Fitness.

Dr. Lauer said it’s important to drink water throughout the workout, not just after it’s over. McClain said she drinks 100-ounces throughout the day before her evening workout class.

Dr. Lauer said it’s also important to keep a close eye on your heart rate. After you finish a high-intensity workout he said your heart rate should quickly drop back down to its resting rate.

Even with the risks, instructors say there are perks to a steamy workout.

“You are going to get a good sweat on, you are getting rid of lots of toxins that are built up in your body, that sweat is eliminating those toxins,” Will said.

Instructor’s say you shouldn’t be intimated by working out in extreme temperatures, but if you haven’t had a session in a while, they suggest waiting to start on a different day. They said it's best to let your body condition itself to extreme temperatures before just jumping right in.