Fire up Your Workout with Hot Yoga
By Michelle Hoeing, RDN LN
There’s a new saying amongst hot yoga enthusiasts: if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the yoga studio. But, if you can take it, you’ll feel like you really accomplished something.
This is what hot yoga is all about. If you are hitting a stall with your weight loss, or you are looking for ways to switch up your workout routine? Try hot yoga! Hot yoga is a class in which a series of yoga poses are performed in an order, with music. What’s truly unique is that the class takes place in a room heated to typically 100-105 degrees with 50-80% humidity. But, is it even worth it to exercise in a plus-100 degree yoga studio?
There are many benefits from hot yoga (besides just dripping in pools of sweat). It systemically works the entire body, toning muscles, promoting weight loss, reducing stress, and increasing overall vitality. It also is a wonderful option for low-impact cardiorespiratory exercise for people who are unable to participate in high-impact activities that cause stress, such as running.
Here are some tips when considering taking a hot yoga class:
1. Stay hydrated! Remember that a minimum of 64 oz. of daily fluid is recommended. Because of the high temperatures during a hot yoga session, our body sweats out a lot of fluid. Higher amounts of fluid are necessary when participating in this type of exercise. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after each class. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle!
2. Choose the class that is right for you. Hot yoga is often available to beginners and those practicing advanced poses. Make modifications or take a break if necessary. It is not uncommon to feel a little light headed during your first couple sessions. Drink plenty of water and rest in child’s post for a moment.
3. Go outside your comfort zone. Overweight and obese patients may feel self-conscious participating in hot yoga classes with other participants. A lot of poses may require modifications – especially for beginners. Don’t let this discourage you. Remember that moving your body in any way will have positive effects!
Lee JA, Kim JW, Kim DY. Effects of yoga exercise on serum adiponectin and metabolic syndrome factors in obese postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2011;Epub ahead of print.