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For a minute, The Mile High City was one of the country’s best-kept secrets. But now, the word is out—this family-friendly, outdoor-loving, up-and-coming city is booming. And the same can be said for the local health and fitness scene. Here’s a rundown of all the reasons to love living, sweating, and staying active in Denver.
If you’re a healthy eater, you won’t have to search hard for something that fits your lifestyle of choice. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, or just want to eat a little better, Denver’s restaurant scene has every meal of the day covered.
Healthy eating is important, but so is balance. Luckily, Denver knows how to brunch, and the options are practically endless. To cure the Sunday Scaries, we chow down on hearty breakfast burritos, dessert-worthy pancakes, local bacon, farm-fresh eggs, and a Bloody Mary from time to time.
When spring makes its appearance, Denver’s farmers markets are bursting with local fruits and veggies, epic food trucks, and plenty of fresh finds. On Saturdays and Sundays, from May until late fall, we bop around to a variety of different vendors. No matter where you stop, don’t skip the neighborhood favorites.
From yoga to cycling and boxing to bootcamp, we love to work out. And if outdoor exercise is your thing, we’ve got you. Head outside for fresh air sweat sessions that get your heart rate climbing and your muscles burning (think Yoga On The Rocks). And if you love fitness classes as much as you love indoor rock climbing, Movement Denver is your one-stop shop. For all of you Pure Barre and SoulCycle addicts, don’t worry—we’ve got all the big names, too.
ICYMI, Denver is a yoga mecca. From name brands to local boutiques, there’s a class for everyone. Traverse the city, and you’ll find Kindness Yoga, BIG Power Yoga, Yoga Pod, and Samadhi Center for Yoga—just to name a few. No matter where you are, there’s probably a yoga studio just around the corner.
Every year, there are countless local races to check out. The Denver Colfax Marathon, Half, and 10-miler are local staples, but there are also plenty of events in the Rocky Mountains. Want to go even longer? The Leadville 100 is monumental, the Ragnar team races are challenging and fun, and the Dirty 30 is a truly epic trail run.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the many mountains, trails, camping spots, and green spaces nearby. Whether you’re bagging 14ers in the Rockies, pedaling through downtown on one of the city’s many bike trails, or kicking back in Cheesman Park, spending some time soaking up the sun (all 300+ days a year) is a way of life around here.
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.