Nourishing your body before and after hot yoga

Nourishing Your Body Before and After Hot Yoga

As you know, yoga involves movement, twisting, and turning. The last thing you want when you’re busy flowing through a new sequence is to experience a stomachache, bloating or gas. But it’s really hard to fuel our bodies correctly. Sometimes we accidentally eat gassy veggies before yoga class and other times we forget to drink an adequate amount of water.

As yoga instructors, many of our students ask what to eat, when to eat, and how to hydrate properly in order to enjoy a successful hot yoga workout.

We think this is a great question and hope we can show you some simple tricks to staying healthy and energized throughout your yoga practice. Especially in the heat of summer, it can be tough to keep our body full of the nutrients we need to make it through intense work outs and hot yoga classes.

Why is this so important? When you have the right amount of food and water in your body, you’re able to build and tone your muscles. But when you fail to do so, your body finds itself in “preservation” mode, too busy trying to provide basic energy and unable to create new muscle.

6 Tips for Nourishing Your Body the Right Way

Time It Right: So, when’s the best time to eat before yoga class? Ideally, we ask you not to eat 2 hours prior to yoga. However,  it doesn’t hurt to load up on a 200-300 calorie healthy snack an hour or so before class. This will keep your stomach from rumbling obnoxiously while also providing enough time for digestion.

TIP! Bring some apple slices and peanut butter with you to work so you can munch on them before heading to class or grab an orange. Oranges are 87% water content and are loaded with vitamin C. They’re perfect for adding some quick hydration. 

Avoid Fatty Foods: You probably already know this one, but before any workout, you should stay away from fatty or greasy foods. Focus instead on foods with fast-acting carbohydrates or lean protein. Your body can use this energy immediately to provide the boost you need.

TIP! Carrots and hummus is a light, easy snack that will give you the energy and nutrients you need. Save the tofu burger & fries for a once-in-a-while thing (and not before you hit class). 

Bring an Eco-Friendly Water Bottle: At Fever, we strongly encourage you to bring an environmentally friendly water bottle to each and every class or we sell H2O at the studio in the event you forgot to pack one along. Bring water into the studio with you and remember to drink it whenever necessary (even during the class). We won’t always remind you to hydrate so be conscious of your intake before, during and after. What we have found works the best and is the most affordable in water bottles is the Brimma  Premium Water Bottle below.

TIP! When your instructor offers the opportunity to skip chaturanga and go straight to a downward dog, use the extra time to hydrate if needed. Listen to your body – it’ll tell you when the time is right.

Snack Smart before AM Class: It’s hard enough to drag yourself to an early morning yoga class, let alone trying to throw in eating properly before the crack of dawn. We recommend eating as lightly as possible before class, then consuming a solid breakfast afterward.

TIP! For your sunrise yoga session, opt for half a cup of oatmeal, half an avocado, or a small handful of almonds. A cup of tea works well, also.

Befriend your Blender: Some of the best pre-workout snacks are healthy, protein smoothies. These fruit and veggie-filled drinks are all the rage these days, so it won’t take you long to google a recipe you like. If you head to yoga straight from school or work, mix it up in the morning and keep it in the fridge during the day. As far as blenders go, they are not created equal. We have had great success with the Ninja Blender listed below.

TIP! Hydration is super important before yoga, so try adding ingredients like green tea, oranges, pineapple, or mango. The antioxidants will also prevent muscle soreness.

Hydrate and Replenish with Liquid IV: The first thing you’ll want to do after rolling up your mat is to drink some H20 and maybe even add some electrolytes to your water. Electrolytes help you replenish the much-needed nutrients, sodium and minerals your body lost during your sweat sesh. Whatever you do, just be mindful to keep your water bottle near you for at least an hour after class, although your body may crave extra water for the rest of the day.

TIP! You can also add in some other, naturally-hydrating drinks like fruit juice or coconut water. Even foods like cucumber, watermelon, and pineapple (all chilled) are a great post-hot yoga treat.

Remember, these are only suggestions. There are certainly additional food items you can add to the list. And it’s important to note that everyone’s body is different. Listen to yours to decipher which foods it can digest well and which are better left for an off-day. And after hot yoga, stock up on your lean protein by eating yogurt, drinking low-fat milk, or snacking on turkey and hardboiled eggs.

Most importantly, remember that these tips are designed to help you focus on your hot yoga practice in Grand Rapids, MI. We want our yogis to be fully invested in each hot yoga session, not worried about becoming dehydrated or depleting their adrenals.

STAY HYDRATED.

Disclosure: As an amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

 

What is Vinyasa Yoga

What is Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa Yoga 101

So you’ve taken a Vinyasa Yoga Class and may have even heard your favorite teacher call out “take your Vinyasa”. This can be confusing. The term Vinyasa actually has a few different meanings that are used quite frequently and are not mutually exclusive.

The word Vinyasa can be translated into arranging something in a special way, such as yoga poses. Vinyasa is one of many different styles of yoga and is a practice where we link the breath with movement. We coordinate and flow poses together from one pose to the next and do each set of poses on each side of the body.

Before transitioning to the other side of the body we hear the teacher call out “take your Vinyasa” or “take your Chatarunga”. This means that we move through the transitioning poses of Downdog, Plank, Cobra/Updog, and then back to Downdog to neutralize the body before beginning the other side. These transitional poses are part of the tradition of yoga and have been practiced this way for thousands of years. So again, linking poses together using the breath. These 4 poses are linked together as transitions and are considered a “Vinyasa”.

Vinyasa is one of the most popular styles of yoga

We understand why Vinyasa Yoga has become so popular. It’s a momentum style practice that burns calories, kicks up your heart rate, AND builds strength and flexibility. What’s not to love?

By consciously flowing with breath and movement we anchor ourselves in the present moment. It is often referred to in classical yoga as the “breathing system”.

Vinyasa Yoga Classes are always different

There is a ton of variety in Vinyasa Yoga Classes. Normally, no two yoga classes are the same. Teachers choreograph and link together poses that open certain areas of the body. Some days you may work hips and quads, other days shoulders, core or low back. Some days, you get a mixed bag where you get a little bit of everything! Almost certain though, you will get a spine lengthening and strengthening session regardless if you work the upper or lower body. All yoga poses revolve around the axis of the spine.

There is a saying in yoga…

‘Age is not defined by a number but by the flexibility of your spine’

We agree wholeheartedly~

There are many styles of yoga to explore

Hatha yoga is a set of postures for physical and mental exercise used to open up the channels of the body. “Ha” means sun and “tha” means moon. We balance the sun (masculine) and moon (feminine) energies of the body to develop strength and flexibility. This is a transformation style of yoga that focuses on the 8 limbs of yoga designed by Patanjali, the Father of Yoga.

Restorative yoga is where we utilize gravity and many props to hold poses for long periods of time. These poses are normally close to the ground or practiced on the belly, seat or back. It is the opposite of a “yang” practice which revolves around dynamic energy. This practice is meant to offer up more stillness and challenge the mind by slowing down.

Ashtanga yoga was the first style of yoga and is the foundation that all yoga derived. It was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the early 1900’s. Ashtanga Yoga is a progressive set of postures or asanas that is linked together with the breath to induce an internal heat that purifies the muscles and organs. It is the same set of postures each time. This yoga creates a strong body and calm mind. There are 3 sets or series in Ashtanga Yoga. The short-form primary series is usually what is taught in most yoga studios that offer Ashtanga Yoga.

There are several other types of yoga to explore such as Kundalini Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jiva Mukti Yoga and more. Finding the right fit for your lifestyle is key.

 

Unlocking your potential: the power of nutrition and fitness.

Unlocking Your Potential: The Power of Nutrition and Fitness

Achieving your fitness goals is a holistic journey, and it all starts with proper nutrition and fitness. Balancing your diet and exercise routine is crucial for long-term success. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of these foundational pillars of health. Let’s delve deeper into the synergy between nutrition and fitness and how they can transform your life.

The Nutritional Foundation: Fueling Your Success

Your body is like a high-performance machine, and it requires the right fuel to operate optimally. When you provide it with the right nutrients, it rewards you with enhanced energy levels, mental clarity, and overall well-being. It’s not just about counting calories; it’s about the quality of those calories.

Start by incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu provide essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes supply steady energy throughout the day. Don’t forget the importance of healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

Balancing these elements ensures your body has the tools it needs to recover from workouts and perform at its best. A well-rounded diet also supports your immune system and promotes longevity. To delve deeper into crafting a personalized nutrition plan, check out reputable sources like [Healthline].

Fitness: The Path to Vitality

Coupled with proper nutrition, fitness is your gateway to a healthier, more vibrant life. Regular physical activity not only helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Exercise isn’t limited to intense gym sessions. It can encompass a variety of activities that you enjoy, such as swimming, hiking, dancing, or even gardening. The key is consistency. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises on two or more days.

Fitness is not just about the physical benefits; it also enhances your mental health. It releases endorphins, reducing stress and boosting your mood. Moreover, it promotes better sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of each day.

For more guidance on crafting a balanced fitness routine, explore resources from renowned fitness organizations such as the [American Council on Exercise].

In conclusion, nutrition and fitness are the cornerstones of a healthier, more fulfilling life. By nourishing your body with the right nutrients and staying active, you unlock your potential to achieve your goals and enjoy a higher quality of life. Remember, this journey is not about perfection but about progress, and every step you take brings you closer to your best self.

how to form habits

How to Form Habits that You’ll Keep for Life

As the new year approaches, many of us begin thinking about the resolutions, goals, or intentions we want to set for the year ahead. And I don’t know about you, but I used to be hesitant about setting resolutions, because, midway through the year, my motivation would drop and I’d start slipping away from the behaviors I had so eagerly envisioned in January.

Commitment is hard, especially when it comes to life-changing habits and behaviors, like eating a vegan diet or consistently exercising. Whatever you repeatedly do forms the person you become, the things you believe, and the personality you portray. So if you want to improve, or form new habits, how should you go about it?

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for creating habits that endure past the last snowfall.

The 3 R’s to Forming New Habits:

Reminder– this is the trigger that initiates the behavior you’re trying to enact. Several weeks into your commitment, it can be easy to start slipping back into your old ways. Set a reminder to execute your habit every day. It doesn’t matter whether this is a phone alert, a physical cue, or something else – what matters is that you see or hear a reminder that prompts you to take action.
Routine– this is the behavior itself, or the action you take. Commit to 30 days of whatever habit you’re trying to form, whether it’s eating vegan, flossing your teeth, moving your body daily or practicing yoga. Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic, and a month is a good amount of time to commit to, since it easily fits in your calendar!
Reward– this is the benefit you gain from doing the behavior. If you’re committing yourself to creating a new habit, it most likely is because you want to improve on some aspect of your life. Therefore, there are usually innate benefits to forming the habit, such as a healthier immune system, stronger teeth, or a more toned body. But it doesn’t hurt to personally reward yourself, as well! It’s important to celebrate because we like continuing actions that make us feel good. Whether you quietly tell yourself “Good job. You made progress today!” or physically reward yourself with some form of treat, what matters is acknowledging your progress.

A Few Other Helpful Tips:

Find a Buddy: Find a friend who will join you in the pursuit of this new habit. There’s nothing like an accountability partner to keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.

Be Imperfect: You can’t expect your attempt to change huge lifestyle behaviors to be successful immediately. You might fall astray during your 30 day commitment, or it might even take longer to fully form. No worries, friends! Just expect a few bumps along the way.

Be Consistent in Your Timing: For habits like exercising and yoga, being consistent in the time you choose to practice is key. During your 30 day challenge, commit yourself to practicing your new habit at the same time each day, whether that’s morning, evening, or right after work.

How to express gratitude everyday

How to Express Gratitude Everyday

How can we cultivate gratitude everyday?

The practice of gratitude improves health and happiness, builds a positive outlook, and doesn’t cost a thing. Even in the stressful, unclear times of our lives, we all have something to be thankful for. And if we choose to live as if everything is a gift, we live with deep appreciation and gratitude.

So as I prepare for Thanksgiving this year, I’m reflecting on 9 simply ways we can cultivate gratitude in our daily lives – on or off the mat.

On the Mat:

Set Grateful Intentions– I’ve written before about the importance of setting intentions for your yoga practice. And while these can vary tremendously, why not try setting one related to gratefulness for a few weeks? Make your goal throughout your practice be to appreciate every moment – every drop of sweat dripping down your body, every muscle stretching, and every deep breath that moves through you.

Meditate Daily– The practice of meditation can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: to quiet our busy minds and help us find some internal peace. While it can be tough to settle into a time of stillness, this is where you’ll find the ability to reflect on the people, places, and things in your life that serve you. If you’re religious, prayerful meditation is a great way to honor the aspects of your life that bring you joy.

Count Your Blessings, Not Your Breaths– This one is nearly impossible to do throughout an entire yoga session, but why not try it during one long pose – half pigeon, anyone? Instead of spending your time wishing you could leave the pose, try thinking of one thing you’re grateful for with each round of breath.

Never Skip Savasana– I don’t know about you, but I find it quite easy to be grateful when I move into savasana at the end of class. The intensity and heat are finally over and my tired muscles can melt into corpse pose. Whether in the studio or in your personal practice, always ensure you make time to spend 5-10 minutes in this final, resting pose.

Off the Mat:

Move Your Body– Yeah, yeah. You know this one, right? But there’s a difference between exercising just to lose weight and exercising because you love and want to honor your body. Find whatever method you enjoy and do it! Whether that’s yoga, long walks, biking, swimming, kayaking, running, or lifting weights, take time to appreciate and respect your body’s need for movement.

Read– Ditch your screens, crack open a physical book, and get lost in it. Allow yourself to absorb new ideas, learn about different cultures, or discover inspirational quotes and poetry. I promise you’ll experience gratefulness for a world outside your own.

Write It Down– This tip is simple, yet extremely effective. Find the time of day that suits you and jot down three things each day that bring you joy. Sometimes your entries will be short and sweet, while others may include great detail. See if you notice a pattern of the people or things that you’re thankful for, and find ways to incorporate them into your daily life.

Self-Care– Show your whole being – body, mind, and soul- some gratitude by starting some self-care habits. Create a skin-care routine or fuel your body with wholesome nutrients. Get a massage or take daily walks to clear your mind.

Give Back– Once you have begun this journey toward thankfulness, it’s time to give back. Maybe you choose to donate to a favorite charity or volunteer with a cause near to your heart. Or perhaps it’s simply by teaching a loved one how to live gratefully every single day.

common yoga injuries and how to prevent them

Common Yoga Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Last week we covered seven basic, overarching ways to avoid yoga-related injuries. Now, let’s dive deeper into some of the most common body parts that yogis injure – and learn practical ways to protect yourself.

Hamstrings: One of the most common body parts that can get injured due to yoga is your hamstrings. Forcing your legs straight into any pose – whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down – can damage your hamstring muscles. This kind of injury often builds up gradually, turning into hamstring tendonitis.

How to avoid hamstring injuries: Avoid forcing your legs into any stretches and you’ll find these injuries quite easy to avoid. If hamstrings are not your most flexible body part, apply added focus on contracting the front of your body (quads and lower abs) when you fold forward to let your hamstrings feel safe letting go. Don’t use your hands to pull your body deeper into forward folds. Those of you with a lot of mobility in your hamstrings need to be cautious and focus on engaging your outer hips, as it’s possible for you to overstretch and cause injury.

Shoulders: Yoga can cause shoulder injuries as a result of improper overuse. Poses like plank, chaturanga, cobra pose, and upward facing are common culprits. I’ve also seen shoulder injuries arise due to students not listening to their bodies’ signs of fatigue. Don’t push through chaturanga when your body is screaming for a modification or a rest.

How to avoid shoulder injuries: Avoid putting heavy weight on the joint by keeping the shoulders locked into the back on the poses listed above. Be sure to hug the elbows into the side body as you lower down through chaturanga and drop your knees down if this is hard to accomplish. Nail the elbows grazing into the ribs as you lower first – then try to lower down in one line with knees lifted. In your updog and cobra poses be sure to expand into the collar bones and externally rotate the shoulders and pull them down into the back pockets.

Wrists: Much like elbow injuries, wrist pain is a result of repetitive stress. This small joint is often already aggravated by too much computer usage. Those of you with weaker upper arms and forearms are at a higher risk because you won’t be able to press your palm firmly enough into your mat to relieve the weight placed on your wrist.

How to avoid wrist injuries: Supplement your yoga practice with some basic arm exercises designed to tone and strengthen. Use dumbbells or resistance bands when you visit the gym. The stronger your arms are, the less pressure you’ll place on your wrists. Alternatively, I recommend placing your knees on the ground to modify poses, like chaturanga, while you build wrist strength.

Lower back: Among the most frequent yoga injuries, lower back pain is often caused by rounding your spine in forward folds or downward dog. Rounding and overstretching is a recipe for injury and irritation, as it causes your spine to flex the opposite way it is supposed to.

How to avoid lower back injuries: Don’t shy away from bending your knees in forward folds; this allows your back to decompress and relax. Engage your lower belly in most poses – especially chair – as core strength contributes to a strong, healthy back. Keep a small bend in your knees throughout practice and remember to tuck your pelvis under your spine.

Knees: Knee injuries are often related to a lack of flexibility, especially in poses that target your tight hips. Other times, they’re the result of your knees falling out of alignment in poses like Warrior or triangle pose.

How to avoid knee injuries: When bending your knee in a pose like Warrior 2, always check that it is tracking over your middle toe. You never want it to cave inward because it adds unnecessary strain. When your knee is straight, avoid locking your knee joint. Additionally, avoid spending long periods of time in deep hip openers until you build flexibility there.

Neck: Any time you apply pressure to your neck – such as during a headstand – you’re compressing your neck. This can lead to pain in your cervical vertebrae. Your neck is one of the scariest places to harm since it takes so long to heal properly.

How to avoid neck injuries: Never put pressure on your head in any kind of inversion – including when you prepare for full wheel. Don’t force yourself into poses that the rest of your body (shoulders, wrists, abs) isn’t prepared to support you in.

Given all the proven benefits of yoga, but also the many potential risks, what should you yogis do? My biggest advice to avoiding yoga injuries is a combination of gradually easing into each practice, noting when your body feels pain over sensation, and mixing yoga with other exercise forms to strengthen weak areas.

At YogaFever | Yoga Cycle Strength, it’s our mission to teach an anatomically-sound yoga practice that keeps your bodies safe and strong! If you ever start noticing pain or discomfort, let your yoga instructor know so we can help adjust you or modify your pose.

Avoiding yoga induced injuries

AVOIDING YOGA-INDUCED INJURIES

Doesn’t it always seem that just as you’re getting really comfortable and strong in your yoga practice, an injury comes along that knocks you off your feet and requires you to slow down? Whether it’s a strained muscle or a broken bone, the lesson is simple: time to rest and heal.

Thankfully, yoga is a form of exercise that thrives off of alterations, changes, and meeting you where you are each time you step on your mat. It offers plenty of variations for those needing to ease up, and it actually can help you prevent or recover from injuries.

When You’ve Gone Too Far

As a general rule, you should never feel pain in your joints. If you do feel pinching sensations, it’s an indication to stop and relearn your technical approach.

Muscles are a different story. Muscular soreness is an unavoidable sensation caused by any physical activity: running, biking, weight lifting, dancing. This kind of soreness is natural. But if you start feeling pain in your joints – such as in the vertebrae or shoulder joints – while attempting complex movements, it’s time to modify.

Wave your yoga instructor down and ask for a few pointers. At Yoga Fever, we do our best to help students right during class, but if we can’t answer all your questions, please grab us before or after class!

Conquering the Ego

If you are experiencing an injury, one of the hardest things to face is your own ego. You’ll begin to cringe when you have to back out of a pose or rest in child’s pose rather than following the sequence you used to easily flow through. I’ve got some blunt honesty for you: let the ego bleed itself to death. This is exactly what you’ll need to free yourself from the whiny voice in your head that thinks your value is tied to your success.

Then, you’ll be able to reframe your mind. Injury demands you to ask what your priority in yoga really is. When you can no longer do the “cool” poses, you must identify whether your motivation is finding inner peace or simply mastering advanced poses.

Injury Prevention

1. Sudden or Acute Pain– Do you know the difference between stretching within your limits and pushing beyond them? Often, we slip into the latter and our body gives a shout of pain.

What to Do: Speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right when your instructor makes an adjustment. Give yourself some compassion when you have the desire to force or contort yourself into a posture that’s just not happening today!

2. Connective Tissue Tears– Occasionally, your joint may take on too heavy of a load, such as your knees in Chair Pose or your elbows and wrists in arm balances.

What to Do: Stop what you were doing immediately before making the injury worse. You may want to take a few days off, but when you do return to your mat, remember to focus on stability rather than stretching; this way you’ll stay within your limits.

3. Repetitive Stress Injuries– Dedicated yogis occasionally experience stress injuries – like tendonitis – from repeatedly doing the same movements.

What to Do: Though you may have a favorite style of yoga, mixing things up and trying not only different yoga classes but also other forms of exercise, is a great way to shift the frequency away from overused body parts.

 

mastering chatarunga

Mastering Chaturanga

Ever heard your yoga teacher call out “chaturanga” and wonder if you’re doing it correctly? We feel you. Chaturanga Dandasana – or four-limbed staff pose – is the one yoga pose yogis love to hate. Most of us do it incorrectly or half-heartedly for years before finding the light.

Because this is such a physically and emotionally challenging pose, there’s a tendency to rush through it to get it over with. But a lack of attention is perhaps the biggest problem. While chaturanga can be a great way to tone your arms and core, your alignment needs to be spot on. Otherwise, you’ll risk shoulder or back injury.

The Benefits of Chaturanga:

Why do we put ourselves through this tough pose? There are several reasons why yoga instructors sprinkle chaturanga dandasana throughout their classes. Here are some of my favorite reasons for using chaturanga to transition between your yoga sequences.

  1. It makes your wrists stronger and more flexible.
  2. It builds muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
  3. It tones and stretches your core muscles.
  4. Add all of this together and it’s a great preparatory pose for arm balances and inversions

The upper-body and lower-belly strength you acquire by practicing chaturanga translates wonderfully into the power and core consciousness you need for arm balances like crow pose and side plank.

Where Most of Us Go Wrong:

It’s challenging to know when you are doing your chaturanga correctly. And since it’s a pose of repetition, it can lead to injury when performed incorrectly over and over again. Here are a couple ways even the best of us mess up our chaturangas sometimes.

  • Our hands are too close to our shoulders, causing our elbows to bend further than 90 degrees.
  • Our bodies either collapse to the ground with a saggy back or we stick our butt out toward the ceiling putting too much pressure on our shoulders.
  • Our elbows fall outward instead of hugging our core.
  • We lazily move through chaturanga, barely bending at the elbow before quickly rushing into upward dog.

How to Make Chaturanga More Accessible:

One option is to practice the pose with your knees on the floor – there’s no shame in this. It will help you build strength to lower down in one line. Closely monitor your elbow alignment. Next, recognize how deep you go as you lower yourself toward the floor, catching yourself before you begin to sag. Finally, share the strength of the pose between your upper and lower body so that your legs can ease the burden.

Staying Fit After 40

Staying Fit After 40

It’s never too early or too late to begin focusing on your health. Whether you’re a life-long fitness lover or recently decided to make a change, seeing health and fitness as a way of life rather than an obligation will help you stay motivated and consistent on your health journey for the years to come. It’s important that we stop seeing wellness as separate from the rest of our life and ignoring all of the ways it helps us to thrive beyond just the physical. Pursuing health and fitness in a holistic, balanced way will help you flourish in your 40s and beyond.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

The physical and mental benefits of regular exercise are numerous, regardless of your age. Regular physical activity after 40 reduces risk of heart attack, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and decreases likelihood of type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Exercise also helps build stronger bones, joints, and muscles, increasing your flexibility and balance.

The mental benefits of exercise are vital in maintaining your mental health and increasing longevity. Exercise releases serotonin and endorphins into your brain and has proven to be extremely effective in reducing stress. The older we get, the more important these things are for our overall quality of life.

No matter when you begin your exercise journey, these mental and physical benefits are available to you and increase as you stay consistent in your routine.

Incorporating Fitness Into Your Everyday Routine

If you’re just beginning to prioritize your health later in life, it can seem intimidating to sign up for a fitness class or walk into a gym. You might want to start by making small changes, like taking a walk during your lunch break or biking to work instead of driving. These small changes made over time will help you stay motivated and avoid becoming defeated or overwhelmed in your journey. As you gain confidence and stamina, begin incorporating strength and balance/flexibility exercises alongside your regular aerobic activity.

If you’re in your 40s and already have a regular exercise routine, there’s no reason to slow down or pull back because of your age. Continue to push yourself and try new forms of exercise while making sure to prioritize rest and recovery.

Focusing on your physical and mental health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and plenty of sleep will help you flourish at any age. It’s never too late to begin your life-long journey of self-care and self-love.

how to avoid dehydration during hot yoga

How to Avoid Dehydration During Hot Yoga

“Make sure you drink lots of water.” I’m sure most of you have heard this at Yoga Fever as you’re rolling up your mat and packing to leave class. In fact, you hear this tip frequently, whether you’re training for a race, practicing yoga in heated rooms, or simply maintaining a healthy life.

The statement itself sounds simple enough, but I often notice dehydrated students in our hot yoga classes. Recognizing this problem up a list of other questions: What is the best way to hydrate? How do you know if you’ve had enough water? What are the key signs to look out for to avoid dehydration?

Tiredness, dizziness, cramped muscles, or no sweat – even in our incredibly hot room – are a few symptoms of dehydration. For yoga newbies, it’s totally acceptable to require a few classes for your body to acclimate to the heat, but continued struggle can be a sign of not enough water.

We’ve talked before about the best tips and tricks to nourish your body before a hot yoga class, but I want to focus on the critical importance of hydration.

Prepping for Your Hot Yoga Class

Enter the hot yoga studio already properly hydrated. It’s simply too hard to do it once you’re already in the room, as it takes your body about 45 minutes to process water. Hydration before yoga is essential to avoiding stiffness and cramping. Ideally, the bottle you bring will simply be for refreshment.

Then, make absolutely sure that you hydrate after class. I know many of you lead busy lives and are running off to the next thing after class, but don’t ditch that water bottle! Nutritionists recommend drinking at least 20 ounces of water after class to replace the fluids you burned off during class.

Sneaky Tips to Getting the Right Hydration for Hot Yoga

When practicing hot yoga, you simply cannot hydrate properly with water alone; you need the right balance of water and electrolytes. However, I advise against the many sports drinks out there, as they often have too much sodium and sugar. Coconut water, though, cannot be beat! With five key electrolytes, along with vitamins and potassium, it’s an ideal alternative. In fact, coconut water is so similar to blood plasma that it can be used as intravenous fluid in emergency transfusions – crazy, right?

Eat your water. The right foods can help you stay hydrated. Fruits and vegetables – especially lettuce, broccoli, grapefruit, cucumber, and watermelon – will increase your metabolism.

Spike your drink. Sometimes water needs a little boost of flavor. If you’re growing tired of your water intake, enhance your water with a kick of flavor – whether it’s a natural remedy like cucumbers, oranges, or lemons or a flavored powder.

I want to challenge each of you to embark on your own personal hydration challenge. Sip on water all day, even when you don’t feel thirsty. Fill your reusable bottle as soon as you finish it. Slowly drink a bottle of water over the course of the hour leading up to yoga class. And drink another in the 30 minutes after class. Stock up on produce high in water volume. Give it a week and see how your yoga practice is transformed!