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As the recent freak warm weather suggests, the start of warmer weather and daylight saving time is upon us. As the clocks spring forward by one hour, we’ll benefit from lighter mornings and later sunsets. However, losing as little as one hour can be enough to leave people feeling groggy for a day or two.
Research from a recent study by MINDBODY found that on average, people who went to the gym got more sleep over a 24-hour high-intensity period. But what happens when the clocks change? We’ve asked the experts—and compiled some trusty tips—for what we can do to better prepare ourselves for the time difference.
“Whether it’s a brisk walk outside, a jog or a high-intensity class, it all counts and you’ll feel less restless when your head hits the pillow, making it easier to get an early night,” says Fiona Crossley, the owner at F45 Kingston.
“For the week leading up to the clocks changing, move your routine up by a few minutes each day. For example, begin to wind down 45 mins before going to bed (instead of your usual 30) and ban screens and reading material in bed,” says Leon Taylor, an Olympic medallist and yoga teacher. “Put your phone in another room (use an alarm clock if needed) and ensure your room is dark, quiet and slightly cool in temperature for best quality sleep.”
Need a little *extra* help when it comes to adapting to the time change? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our battle-tested tips and tricks:
- Channel the positive energy: Introduce a short meditation practice every day to help you unwind and calm the mind. Try Re:Mind on for guided sessions.
- Let the light in: Soak up some Vitamin-D! Get off the bus one stop early on the way to work, park further from the office or take your morning meeting outside to give yourself some extra natural sunlight.
- Sweet dreams: Bank your sleep and try taking a power nap on Sunday—but no longer than an hour—to reset your body (and mind) for the week ahead.
- Just breathe: Try 10 minutes of stretching with focused yoga breathing before bed to release the day’s tension and better settle in for an early night.
- Say ‘no thank you’: Coffee or cocktails? Politely decline. Avoid stimulants that can interfere with sleep, like caffeine and alcohol.
Whatever you try this daylight saving time, resetting your internal clock the healthy and natural way will have you embracing those extra hours of daylight all spring and summer long!
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.