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.