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We can come up with a million reasons to avoid exercising. Whether you lack time or motivation, are too tired, or don’t have the proper equipment, there’s a laundry list of excuses to avoid a workout. But aside from the ones you tell people (and yourself), is embarrassment one of your mental roadblocks?
Maybe you’re worried about not having the cutest outfits (we feel you, those can be expensive). Maybe you’re nervous about falling over during the balancing series in yoga. Maybe you haven’t worked out in well, a while, and you’re too embarrassed to huff and puff your way through a difficult HIIT class with all the regulars.
We’ve all been there. Group fitness has tons of benefits, but it requires a first step we often forget to talk about—gaining confidence to try it out.
Okay, so you don’t really have a choice right now. Gyms and fitness studios all over the world are closed due to COVID-19...but we have to find the silver lining, right? Now, we have the unique opportunity to access *tons* of virtual classes from studios all over the world. HIIT, yoga, Pilates, or barre, San Diego, Miami, London, or D.C.—the sky’s the limit (if you have a backyard, that is).
And the other benefit? Privacy.
Sweaty? Oh well. Outfit doesn’t match? Who cares? Can’t touch your toes? Just bend your knees, girl (or guy).
Now, more than ever, we’re looking for a sense of community. And now, more than ever, you can access a community of group fitness lovers without the nerves of being a newbie. Throw on your wrinkled old college T-shirt, turn that video camera off, and tune into a live stream fitness class—you’ll be ready to hit the actual studio as soon as it opens.
When it comes to any workout, it’s never a good idea to just jump right in. We’re not saying you need to take a full-blown yoga class to stretch yourself out before you start (although restorative yoga post-workout works wonders for those achy muscles), but you’ll definitely want to warm up.
Take a look at our tips for getting ready for your first virtual fitness class!
If you’ve ever browsed classes on Mindbody, you may have seen some unique ones that stood out among the rest (pole dancing fitness, anyone?). There are so many different types of fitness classes out there; it’s easy to get a sense of choice overload (AKA: Where the hell do I even begin?!). Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need to try them all—unless you really don’t know what to do with all the extra time on your hands. Try narrowing it down to a few categories you’re interested in and try a different one each day. You can even find a personal trainer if you want!
Think about what your goals are. Trying to build core strength? Try Pilates. Want a low-impact workout that targets your muscles with small movements? Meet barre. Want to gain flexibility and build that mind-body connection? Yoga is the one for you! Or maybe you just want to dance (because this time, nobody’s watching!). Virtual dance fitness classes are the way to go. Try a few and determine which one is best for you.
Once you’ve found your favorite workout (or combo of workouts!), it’s time to dive in. Start investing in (or renting!) some workout gear and equipment, prepare your space, set your new at-home workout routine, and start booking your virtual classes. You’ll be ready to hit the studio in no time!
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.