Are you one of those individuals at this point who feels like they’re just donating money to a gym? You know what I mean. You pay for it but you’re never there…But you’ll get there one day, right? Yeah, you’re not alone. Working out can be a tough task for many of us if we have a short attention span or a busy lifestyle. Let’s face it, getting to a gym and working out for 1.5 hours a few days a week is a task which can get repetitive quickly. This is probably why most of us, including those passionate about their health and fitness, tend to sometimes skip out on the gym.
However, with the rise of various fitness trends, there hasn’t been a shortage of activities that we can do to get and stay fit. You’ve probably heard of cross-fit and soul cycle, the latest fitness craze which people have been following in recent years. Personally, I’m not a fan of any of these because there’s been proven research to suggest some downsides which may or may not outweigh the benefits of these activities. But that’s a discussion for another day. When it comes to health and fitness, I’m a huge believer in going the traditional and tried route. If you aren’t a gym fanatic, but still want to stay fit and healthy, then you may be a perfect candidate for hot yoga! Heck, even if you do go to a gym, hot yoga can still be of great benefit to you.
Hot yoga is not a new practice by any means, but it’s one that a lot of people tend to miss either because of convenience or lack of awareness. Is hot yoga really any more beneficial than regular yoga or an hour at the gym? Well, the answer to that question is yes…it could be!
Yoga itself is great for stretching and strengthening various muscles in your body, all of the positions use your body weight thus you are working all of your muscles in the various poses, no matter how slow or fast paced your yoga class may be. Most places offer a variety of yoga classes which can focus on anything from relaxation and stretching, to faster paced yoga which works your body to the core. Athletes often take yoga classes on occasion as a means of stretching and maintaining your body. Pro boxer Anthony Joshua recently even said himself that although yoga won’t help you become a better boxer, it’ll help the longevity of your athletic career. So, if a pro athlete can benefit from it, then a regular person like you or I will most definitely feel the benefits of taking an occasional yoga class or a regularly scheduled one.
So how does hot yoga factor in?
Hot yoga uses a heated room for yoga practice during class, as the heat can help with relaxing your muscles and enhancing blood flow. The heat helps fight any strain or injury you may get during workouts, combat stress or tension from daily life, as well as enhancing your overall health and wellness. Many studios are now introducing a state of the art infrared heat as part of their hot yoga classes, ensuring even greater benefits for your body. Infrared heat essentially emulates the light emitted from the sun, but without damaging your skin!
The heat infrared panels provide during a yoga class will raise your body temperature to a level sufficient to emulate a fever of sorts, which will help your body detoxify and enhance your immune system in the process. For many years, infrared heat has been used in therapy for senior citizens with chronic pain, so you know that there is something behind the craze. While we all know sweating is good for you, infrared heat can penetrate up to 3 inches, helping relieve your muscles and internal organs of any sweat or toxins you may be harbouring. The heat makes your tissues more flexible, and allows greater movement in your body. Whatsmore is that infrared heat can enhance endorphin release which eases pain and facilitates a greater calm within your mind and body. The heat, though it penetrates well, is gentle and soothing, still allowing you to have a calm yoga experience.
The best part of hot yoga using infrared heat is that it does wonders for your skin! You know by now that exercise and sweating can improve your overall skin appearance and health, after all, it’s good for you to sweat once in a while. However, infrared heat will help bring all the toxins out of your body, which results in cleaner skin. Initially, you may find that after a hot yoga session your skin will have brought any dirt or problems to the surface so you can eliminate them and thus have clean skin in the long run. You truly will look and feel healthier!
Before you consider hot yoga, though, consult with your doctor, especially if you are older or have health issues. While hot infrared yoga won’t technically raise your blood pressure significantly, it is still important to get the okay from your doctor because the temperatures do get pretty darn hot, and combined with yoga movements can be strenuous to anyone with a known health issue or an older individual.
If you can’t tell by now, I am a huge proponent of an occasional yoga session to ensure your body is working how it’s supposed to, and getting a good infrared sweat in now and again definitely has visible benefits. Whatever your fitness routine may be, you ought to be switching things up every now and then to keep your body working. Male or female, you will find that there are a variety of types of classes offered, likely near you, that will help you stretch out, strengthen and detoxify. Give it a try!