Are Hot Workouts Good for You?

While hot yoga isn’t brand new (Bikram Choudhury has been practicing yoga in higher temperatures for more than 30 years), it’s still one of the trendier way to work out in 2015. And lately, the idea of exercising in a hot room has expanded. Now a variety of workouts such as barre, strength training and cycling classes are all done in rooms with the thermostat cranked up. This leads to the question: Are hot workouts safe for everyone?

When your body’s internal temperature rises, your heart beats about 10 beats faster per minute. And when the room is warmer than 90 degrees – the temperature you’ll find in a lot of these classes – your heart beats at an even higher pace. The body also sweats more in higher heat to regulate your body’s temperature, which means it loses nutrients and minerals in the process. On top of that, because these rooms are often at a higher humidity, it can be tough for your body to cool off effectively through sweating.

Because of those reasons, there are certain people who should think twice before signing up to exercise in the heat:

Though there are risks, many people still seem to enjoy sweating it out in a hot studio. Experts say it can help boost circulation and increase flexibility (but you have to be careful of injuring yourself). The heat opens your muscles, making you more flexible and more comfortable stretching. If you prefer to work out in these warmer conditions, be sure to hydrate yourself before, during and after exercise. Other ways to stay safe are by acclimating slowly (start with a shorter class if possible) and knowing your own limits. Don’t feel pressured to go along with everyone else in the class if it starts to feel unbearable.

For more details on fitness classes such as spin, yoga, barre, and hot yoga, check out these other blogs:

Photo credit: Juan Pablo Olmo

 

 

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