What’s Hot—Bikram Yoga

woman yogaYoga is a good way to be physically active because it promotes increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone, as well as improved respiration, energy, and vitality. Yoga can also help with weight reduction and circulatory health. There are more than 20 different types of yoga! One variation gaining in popularity is Bikram yoga, often referred to as “hot yoga” because this style specializes in using a heated environment.

Bikram yoga is 90 minutes long and consists of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises, and takes place in a room 104 degrees with 40% humidity. The caution with hot yoga is the room temperature and the potential health risks it poses. Hot yoga may increase the risk of heat exhaustion if your body is no longer able to regulate its usual temperature. Heat exhaustion can lead to heavy sweating, dehydration, decreased blood pressure, and increased heart rate. These effects on your body may make you feel weak, dizzy, or nauseated.

Before starting hot yoga, or any physical activity program, it’s always a good idea to consult your health care provider to make sure it is safe for you to do so, especially if you are pregnant or have a serious health condition. For more information, visit http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/injury-prevention/exercise/article/hot-yoga-scary-or-good-you.

Keeping Active When It Is Cold Outside

Family WalkBeing physically active can sometimes be a challenge when it is cold outside.  However, children still need 60 minutes or more and adults need 30 minutes or more daily of moderate physical activity.  Here are some tips to keep you and your family active when it is cold outside.

  1. Dress in layers and head outside for a family walk.
  2. Go sledding.
  3. Build a snowman.
  4. Try cross-country skiing.
  5. Turn on the music and dance!
  6. Check with your local park and recreation centers for organized indoor sports such as basketball.  They often have leagues for both children and adults.
  7. Choose an exergaming video game like Wii® Fit or Dance Dance Revolution
  8. Go to an indoor pool and swim laps.
  9. Check with the local school to see if it offers open gym in the evenings or on the weekends when community members can play basketball, walk, or participate in other active games.
  10. Limit TV and computer sedentary time to two hours or less daily.

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