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As the weather gets cooler in some places, many health and fitness enthusiasts are looking to turn the heat up on their yoga and fitness routines—literally. From yoga and barre to Spin® and HIIT, heated classes are quickly becoming a norm for businesses to offer. Interested in trying out a hot class for yourself? Here are some things to know before you arrive:
H 2 (whoa!)
When it comes to heat, hydration is key. Start drinking water a few hours before class so you don’t feel faint or dizzy during your workout. But don’t drink too much too soon—drinking tons of water right before and during class will likely give you a stomachache. Stick to small sips when you feel like you need it, and save the chugging for a replenishing reward after class.
Bring a towel
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll definitely want a towel (or two) on hand for the heat. For mat classes, it’s usually ideal to have one on your mat so you don’t slip and a smaller one to towel yourself off with. For other classes, you may only need a hand towel to help you cool off during breaks.
Dress for success
While your baggy shorts and t-shirt may be great for running or a gym workout, they can get in the way during a heated class. Form-fitting, breathable clothing is recommended—it won’t inhibit your movement and can help wick sweat. What you should wear differs for each person and class, so try to pick what you’ll feel the most comfortable getting really sweaty in.
Don’t eat beforehand
As with drinking water, eating a lot right before class is more harmful than helpful. The heat can be overwhelming and may make you feel like you might throw up, especially during your first few classes. Try not to eat less than two hours before class, so those nauseous feelings don’t turn into actions. If you do need to eat something, grab some small snacks like crackers or fruit. But don’t forget to keep drinking water with them, too!
Arrive with plenty of time
Make sure you get to your first class early enough for your body to acclimate to the heat. Running in at the last minute and just jumping in can be a shock for your body, not to mention stressful when trying something new. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time. That way, you can go in before class, ask the instructor any questions you have, start adjusting to the temperature and warm up your body.
Scope the cool spots
Most heated rooms have certain spots that are hotter than others. If you’re nervous about your first time, don’t be afraid to ask the instructor where the cooler spots are in the room. You can hang out in those for a bit, and then maybe take it up a notch after a few classes by trying the hot spots.
Listen to your body
Heated classes can be intense—one of the most important things to remember is to listen to your body. There’s no shame in taking a break or easing off some of the movements if you feel like you need to. When it comes down to it, you know what is best for your body and what you’re capable of in that moment. The heat is already adding an element of difficulty, so don’t push yourself beyond what’s right for you.
Embrace the sweat
I’ll be the first to admit: I sweat a LOT. Then add a little heat to my classes and I’m guaranteed to win “most likely to need a shower ASAP.” But the whole point of heated classes is to bring on the sweat, so if you’re like me and look like you just went swimming after class, that’s perfectly okay. Embrace your sweaty self and recognize the positive change that you’re making in your life. Don’t worry or compare yourself to that person next to you who looks like they never broke a sweat. Everyone is different, and the feeling you’ll get once you step outside the room after a heated class is one of the best.
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.