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As the weather gets cooler in some places, many health and fitness enthusiasts are looking to turn the heat up on their yoga and fitness routines—literally. From yoga and barre to Spin® and HIIT, heated classes are quickly becoming a norm for businesses to offer. Interested in trying out a hot class for yourself? Here are some things to know before you arrive:
H 2 (whoa!)
When it comes to heat, hydration is key. Start drinking water a few hours before class so you don’t feel faint or dizzy during your workout. But don’t drink too much too soon—drinking tons of water right before and during class will likely give you a stomachache. Stick to small sips when you feel like you need it, and save the chugging for a replenishing reward after class.
Bring a towel
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll definitely want a towel (or two) on hand for the heat. For mat classes, it’s usually ideal to have one on your mat so you don’t slip and a smaller one to towel yourself off with. For other classes, you may only need a hand towel to help you cool off during breaks.
Dress for success
While your baggy shorts and t-shirt may be great for running or a gym workout, they can get in the way during a heated class. Form-fitting, breathable clothing is recommended—it won’t inhibit your movement and can help wick sweat. What you should wear differs for each person and class, so try to pick what you’ll feel the most comfortable getting really sweaty in.
Don’t eat beforehand
As with drinking water, eating a lot right before class is more harmful than helpful. The heat can be overwhelming and may make you feel like you might throw up, especially during your first few classes. Try not to eat less than two hours before class, so those nauseous feelings don’t turn into actions. If you do need to eat something, grab some small snacks like crackers or fruit. But don’t forget to keep drinking water with them, too!
Arrive with plenty of time
Make sure you get to your first class early enough for your body to acclimate to the heat. Running in at the last minute and just jumping in can be a shock for your body, not to mention stressful when trying something new. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time. That way, you can go in before class, ask the instructor any questions you have, start adjusting to the temperature and warm up your body.
Scope the cool spots
Most heated rooms have certain spots that are hotter than others. If you’re nervous about your first time, don’t be afraid to ask the instructor where the cooler spots are in the room. You can hang out in those for a bit, and then maybe take it up a notch after a few classes by trying the hot spots.
Listen to your body
Heated classes can be intense—one of the most important things to remember is to listen to your body. There’s no shame in taking a break or easing off some of the movements if you feel like you need to. When it comes down to it, you know what is best for your body and what you’re capable of in that moment. The heat is already adding an element of difficulty, so don’t push yourself beyond what’s right for you.
Embrace the sweat
I’ll be the first to admit: I sweat a LOT. Then add a little heat to my classes and I’m guaranteed to win “most likely to need a shower ASAP.” But the whole point of heated classes is to bring on the sweat, so if you’re like me and look like you just went swimming after class, that’s perfectly okay. Embrace your sweaty self and recognize the positive change that you’re making in your life. Don’t worry or compare yourself to that person next to you who looks like they never broke a sweat. Everyone is different, and the feeling you’ll get once you step outside the room after a heated class is one of the best.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.