This Boston-based fitness fanatic gives us her go-to tips on sweatin’.
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The future of health and wellness is here—and it can be found in Las Vegas.
As the tech industry descends on Sin City this week for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES)—the world's largest tech trade show—so does all the super cool, mind-boggling, thought-this-was-never-possible gadgets. From industry tycoons to hometown startups, hundreds of thousands flock to Las Vegas for a glimpse into the future. But it’s not all about luxury electric cars and smart TVs. Some of the best tech we saw is in the healthcare and wellness space.
With CES badge in hand, I hit the hotels and convention center to get a sneak peek into the future of fitness and wellness, and all I have to say is “what the wow?!” Here are some of the coolest trends and products I’ve seen over the last few days. Viva Las Vegas—the only place where tech really talks.
Catching your Zzz’s is no longer about your typical memory foam. The new age of sleep is here, and it’s just the beginning of a better nights snooze. Nokia unveiled its latest health product, Nokia Sleep. Coming out in the first quarter of this year, the Wi-Fi enabled Nokia Sleep mattress pad uses an “advanced” center to monitor your sleep cycles. Did we mention it can also control the lights and thermostat in your bed? Talk about pure (affordable) bedroom bliss.
Sleep Number also stepped up their mattress game as they unveiled a Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed™ in a truly dreamy booth space. Using two air chambers inside its mattress to contour to the individual, their smart beds measure and adjust the height to prevent snoring so you can drift into a deep sleep via their Sensing SleepIQ® biometrics. A mattress that uses technology to eliminate snoring? Can we get a heck ya!? I tested it out, and it was crazy comfortable—or maybe it just felt nice to get a moment of shut-eye amongst the CES madness.
CES wasn’t all about mattress technology, though. A French startup introduced Dreem—a sleeping headband that you wear overnight. Available now, the headband not only measures your brain waves and heart rate, but it learns your sleep patterns to help you fall into a sweet slumber. Equipped with breathing techniques and meditation inspired sound-based programs, this OM-amazing sleep gear will help you stock up on that shuteye!
Your basic faucet, that cabinet mirror, a typical toilet—the days of traditional bathroom components are long gone. I discovered bathroom technology that I didn’t even know I wanted at CES. Kohler’s® mega booth was a big CES attraction, as they introduced Kohler Konnect™. The line of smart home products is geared towards technologically-driven, experience-focused bathroom products. Kohler’s Verada® Voice Lighted Mirror easily made it to the top of the list. Featuring a built-in Amazon Alexa component, hands-free light control, and a motion-sensing night light, this mirror will redefine your routine. Don’t just take your face washing or makeup routine to the next level. How about your whole life? Ask Alexa to play music, stream the news, and do household chores before you even brush your teeth.
Simplehuman—best known for their trash cans—showed us a whole new side to their brand with smart mirrors. Designed to help you optimize your look, these mirrors enable you to see yourself in an entirely new (digital) light. Featuring a “tru-lux” light system simulating natural light, The Wi-Fi Wide-View Sensor Mirror also has the wide view side paneled smart mirror, which enables you to look at yourself from any angle while accessing smart features like your lighting presets. Oh, and it has 10x magnification detail for close-up eyebrow tweezing. Don’t look too closely at your pores though! I made that mistake.
Dominated by wearable tech, the fitness space at CES was full of fresh, new finds. From “E-Skin” to Health Tags, how you workout is now about how you wear this tech trend. We are instant fans of Spire Health Tags. Featuring a small piece of tracking technology, you can apply the tags to any item of your clothing. Plus, you don’t need to worry about washing the Spire Health Tag—it’s meant to live in the clothes you wear most. Ah, so that’s why there was a lot of bras and underwear at the booth. Spire keeps you completed connected—monitoring activity, sleep quality, heart rate, breathing patterns and stress.
Japanese startup Xenoma upped their smart clothing game with a comic book-style smart shirt—featuring E-Skin technology—which they released last year at the electronic show. Imagine your torso area being turned into a motion controller, so your movements act as a software inputs for games. Now their technology is sleeker and redefined. Not only will you look like a superhero, but the futuristic shirts for him/her also contain 14 sensors and a running mini-game that is just the right amount of silly. While the running game graphics need some work, Xenoma’s E-Skin was altogether fascinating, tapping into my usually dormant nerdy side. So who’s ready to suit up and sweat it out ?
Stylish smartwatches were everywhere at CES. High-end watch brand Skagen blended technology with fashion in their flashy booth. Despite all the smart styles, Falster took the prize. With the full touchscreen interface, the Falster is a round-screen smartwatch featuring an always-on AMOLED screen, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, and is powered by Android Wear. Launching later this month, I enjoyed the simple and sleek design. Plus, I can choose a mesh or leather straps. Talk about #trending.
For us fashion focused, higher-end, brand-loving tech people, Kate Spade New York flexed their tech muscles with the Kate Spade New York Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch. Keeping their classic scallop design identity, the tech is good—1.19-inch AMOLED display, ambient light sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. But what stood out was the watch’s fashion-forward, interactive design. Using an app, you can customize the round watch’s face to compliment your outfit. Day or night, the color of your jewelry, hues of your clothes, the watch will suggest six different faces that work with your look. There’s also a fun component to the face—like a winking eye—which fits the Kate Spade brand. Smartwatches are no longer built to be basic, that’s for sure.
Idaho start-up Black Box VR made quite a splash at CES when they unveiled their full-body workout in the form of a 30-minute virtual reality experience. Complete with a cable-based, strength-training workout machine and a HTC Vive headset, you can get your beast mode on via video game. Currently, the experience involves a virtual arena where you compete against an avatar, and in the future, one another. I waited a while to check out the tech—thanks, news stations—but I was finally able to try a real-life two-minute chest press demo, headset and all. The overall gist? Each chest press shoots out fireballs at the avatar, as the weight you are pulling increases per rep. But yes, you are correct—I was defeating a villain while working on my fitness.
With plans to open a boutique gym in San Francisco, CA later this year, Black Box VR blends mythical with muscle in a gamified environment. I mean, who doesn’t love a virtual crowd of fans cheering you on?
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.