When it comes to fitness, luck and chance aren’t really part of the equation.
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Now, more than ever, we're all looking for ways to stay healthy and boost our immune systems. We asked our friends at barre3 to share the science behind exercise and how we can use it to our advantage right now!
Here's what they had to say:
In a time when so many things are beyond our control, we have two choices: We can obsess over the things we can’t control, or we can focus on the things we can control. The first option sends our cortisol levels through the roof, causing lots of problems and solving none. The second option gives us agency, kickstarting actions that have positive effects.
One thing that’s entirely in our control? Exercise. We all know we feel better after we move, but the benefits of exercise go way beyond that post-class elation. Read on for the science behind how exercise helps us, and, below, for an invitation to join us online for the same remarkable workout.
With the health and safety of our community being our top priority, we want to empower you to continue your practice where you feel safe. From the comfort of your own home, you can stay connected with your local barre3 studio by signing up for LIVESTREAM classes taught by your favorite instructors. Check in with your local studio to learn more about studio-specific online offerings and keep your practice going strong.
Research has shown that regular moderate exercise has positive effects on the immune system, helping us shorten the duration of viruses or ward them off entirely. In other words, whether you’re working out in the studio or at home, your barre3 practice is playing a key role in keeping you healthy.
Healthy heart and lungs are ground zero for a healthy body, and exercise is one of the best ways to keep yours strong. When your heart is healthy, the ripple effects are significant: You’ll experience lower blood pressure, your cholesterol levels will be better, and your body will be better able to stabilize your blood sugar. Healthy lungs not only ensure that the rest of our body is getting sufficient oxygen, but they also make us less prone to respiratory illnesses. Barre3 includes two of the most effective ways to strengthen your lungs, including cardio bursts and breathwork.
Inflammation has been shown to be the root cause of many underlying health issues, linked to everything from heart disease to autoimmune disorders. Research has shown that exercise reduces inflammation by lowering levels of a protein called TNF, which triggers it. A recent study found that it takes as little as 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise for our bodies’ anti-inflammatory response to kick in.
Ironically, one of the things that’s the most effective at boosting our energy is also instrumental in helping us get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise helps us get more slow-wave sleep—what we often refer to as deep sleep. This is the stage of sleep in which our bodies and brains rest and rejuvenate. What’s more, quality sleep has been shown to make us less likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, which means solid shut-eye doesn’t just help us feel energized—it also helps us stay healthy.
Let’s face it, these are anxious times—and that’s all the more reason to get moving, since research has shown that exercise can be instrumental in reducing anxiety. The science behind this is fascinating: When we elevate our heart rate through exercise, we actually change our brain chemistry, resulting in higher levels of serotonin and endocannabinoids, both of which help us feel less anxious.
Want to find more barre3 classes to fit your schedule? Browse Mindbody to explore! Hint: Barre3 has over 140 studios—change your location in the search bar to find more!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.