When maintaining the temperature in a gym or other fitness establishment, a few degrees of adjustment to the thermostat of your commercial HVAC system can make a world of difference. Temperature control is essential not only to a safe workout, but an effective one as well. Is your thermostat in the zone?
Warm Up or Cool Down?
OSHA identifies safe workplace temperatures as between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity levels as best between 20 to 60% relative humidity. However the gym is not a typical workplace. The ideal temperature for your gym should vary by setting and activity. Even client age plays a role, with pregnant women and children requiring cooler environments due to their propensity to overheat, and the elderly preferring far warmer gym environments due to their sensitivity to cold.
What’s the Big Deal?
Despite common misperceptions, the gym is not the place to encourage clients to ‘sweat it out’ under the guise of a greener planet. Extreme temperatures – both hot and cold – can have a negative effect on member workouts. Cold environments can result in muscle injury. Overwarm environments, cause patrons to suffer performance lags that can reduce workout effectiveness by 50%, resulting in dramatic declines in fitness levels or lack of progression over time. Worse, muscle injuries from excessive cold or health risks from overheating such as dehydration, heat stroke, and cardiovascular issues could put you at risk of costly lawsuits and lost clientele.
How Can You Find the Right Gym Temperature?
To find the perfect temperature, look to industry tips and clientele age. Though in general the American College of Sports Medicine advises temperatures in the 68 to 72 degree Fahrenheit range alongside proper humidity and air circulation, optimal temperatures are more activity-specific. Thus, the International Fitness Association (IFA) has developed guidelines based not only on OSHA and IFA guidelines, but activity:
- Aerobics & Cardio
For aerobics cardio classes, a temperature of no higher than 68 degrees is recommended.
- Weight Training
Weight training, like aerobics, is recommended in the temperature range of 65-68 degrees by the IFA as well. However, “Iron Man,” a sports magazine geared to body builders, suggests a room temperature at approximately 70 degrees to allow comfort while training but keep muscles warm at-rest.
Yoga temperatures are generally warmer, but no higher than 80 degrees.
- Water Activities
Pool areas are typically kept in the 70-80 degree range. ASHRAE, however, recommends temperatures of 2 to 4 degrees above water temperature for ideal pool room humidity control, as improperly maintained air temperature, water temperature and humidity can quickly overwhelm HVAC equipment.
Don’t Breeze By Humidity & Air Movement
Humidity and air movement are also integral to clientele perceptions of temperature. High humidity, even at optimal temperatures, can make gym spaces feel stuffy and hot. Proper circulation with fans can likewise increase comfort and facilitate the evaporation of sweat, keeping clients comfortable and cool.
HVAC system feeling the burn? Need commercial air conditioning repair? Contact the commercial heating and air conditioning repair experts at H&H Commercial Services and get your system back in shape today.