If you haven’t already you should try hot yoga.
I know you don’t like stretching and I know you don’t stretch nearly enough. No I am not psychic it’s just a very obvious fact that very few of us enjoy stretching or even come close to stretching enough to maintain good muscle balance, tone and function.
Last Friday, Shauna Clark at the Amaryllis Centre was kind enough to provide us with a staff and family class night to introduce many of us to the benefits of hot yoga.
I’m sure you’ve heard of hot yoga by now as it’s become a fairly common buzz word these last few years.
Hot yoga is just as it sounds: yoga in a very warm room, usually in the neighbourhood of 37 to 40 C.
Now if the thought of doing any kind of exercise in a room that warm frightens you you’re not alone, both my wife and I don’t generally function well for extended periods in a hot environment.
However, the heat of the yoga studio didn’t bother me at all and I am sure you will find the same as long as you drink ample amounts of water prior to your class.
As a fitness professional, I’ve referred many clients to yoga classes throughout the years to compensate for the missing stretching from our North American lifestyles. You see the average adult should really be stretching for 20-30 minutes daily to maintain normal muscle balance and tone.
If we did, I suspect both Advil and Tylenol would teeter on the verge of bankruptcy.
Our lifestyles thanks to chairs, computers, ergonomic everything and long work hours have made pain a normal part of life.
Our body is built with opposing pair muscle groups that allow us to perform all of our movement miracles.
But as time goes on technology continues to reduce movement in trade for efficiency and we find ourselves only performing a few movement patterns day in and day out.
Less but more repetitive movements leads ultimately to pain, exercise and stretching are critical if you wish to enjoy a long, healthy pain free life.
If you dislike stretching as much as the rest of us, then hot yoga can provide many benefits for you.
The heated room really enhances circulation, super circulation leads to much faster progress in developing flexibility and muscle balance.
Additionally the elevated body temperature will lead to swift and effective detoxification as well as a major metabolic boost, among other benefits.
As a final word the detail oriented personal trainer side of me feels it’s critical to mention the one drawback to yoga like most exercise disciplines is that it doesn’t consider you as an individual or you specific movement patterns, though I do find it to be nicely well rounded.
Besides we know you’re not going to stretch anyways so the best program is the one you will actually do.
I don’t believe Hot Yoga should be the only form of exercise you do but do recommend you give it worthy consideration to become a regular part of your total exercise program.
You never know you might even see me in a class or two because I don’t like stretching either.
Cabel McElderry is a local personal trainer and nutrition coach. For more information on fitness and nutrition, visit the Fitness F/X website at www.oneto1fitness.com