Whenever we picture ourselves working out, we could possibly think of hot rooms and those sweat soaked clothes. But it does not mean that if you aren’t sweaty, you haven’t worked out well. According to the scientific evidences, it has been proved that working out in cooler temperatures is beneficial, both mentally and physically. From providing you with better quality sleep to improving your alertness, there are a number of other health benefits of cold yoga as well that we will be discussing in this article.
And we have found it for you! A New York city boutique studio offers a chilly class, what they call as ‘Flow’.
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All You Need to Know About Cold Yoga
Well, when people switch from sleeping at 75F to 66F, one will experience an increased overnight energy expenditure by up to 11 percent, as per a research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Your body works constantly to maintain its normal body temperature, when you are cold, as per The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Activating the brown fat is one way your body does this and produces heat. Not only this but brown fat is also metabolically active. Whereas, if we consider white fat, it can prove to be detrimental when in excess. This has also been proven in a small follow-up study where the NIH researchers had a group sleep at three different temperatures (80F, 75F and 66F) for one month each. It was found that the brown fat increased by an average of 42 percent when the subjects were made to sleep at the coolest temperature.
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Now that we have already discussed about the physical benefits of working out in cooler temperatures, it is also interesting to find out that it will help you to mentally engage more in your workout and thus, will make you more focused when working out.
When you are working out in a hot room, one focuses more on the end of the workout since the very beginning of the session. But when it is about cooler temperatures, you are physically more present in the moment. For instance, have you ever wondered about the seasons when marathons are scheduled? Why are they held in fall and spring and not in the summertime?
As per a study, marathon runners seem to get progressively slower if we increase the temperature from 41F to 77F.
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Is it about sweating?
I personally consider it to be a myth that sweating is the primary way of your body to lose fat. Although many trainers will tell you about this and make you believe the same, but I personally do not consider it to be the case.
When we workout, our body produces heat and thus, in order to cool the core temperature down, we experience sweating. On the other side, working at cooler temperature does not increase the core temperature, therefore the body does not sweat as much.
Also, do not think that if your body isn’t sweating, you are not working at a high intensity because that isn’t the case at all.
Is it worth trying?
As we have discussed earlier, cold yoga proves to be more effective than one thinks. There’s nothing to be concerned about the safety, so you shouldn’t stress out as well.
Considering the working of your muscles, they perform the same way in the cooler temperatures as well. In order to get ready for action in the cooler temperatures, you can rely on the dynamic stretching and light cardio for warm up before you begin with your workout. Some of which can be squats, lunges or kickbacks to make your body ready for the workout.
However, being too cold can sometimes also prove to be more harm than good. As per the research, although shivering does require energy but it can also lead an impairment of skilled performance. But the good news is, that the class offerings vary in temperature. The coldest temperature is suitable for strength training, whereas the warmest one is at 60 degrees.
Is hot yoga overrated?
The focus here is not to bring down the thoughts on hot yoga. When one exercises in ambient or hot environments, the perceived rate of exertion is higher. This basically means that your body thinks it is working a lot harder than it really is. In fact, it has been found in a recent study that Bikram yoga is not as beneficial as people consider it to be.
There is something about cold yoga that will make you feel magical after your first session. But this time, instead of a sports bra and shorts, you will have to dress up in long sleeves and full tights. Well, it may seem that 60 degrees won’t really feel that brisk but.. you will know it all by yourself, actually. But trust me, this cold yoga trend is worth a try!