Most people who have tried hot yoga know the buzz those feel-good endorphins give you. But at this time of year, many of us have holidays to look forward to, which means an enforced a short break from hot yoga classes. Even if you’re not going away, when it’s really hot outside, it’s tempting to skip hot yoga for a few weeks, but is that wise?
The odd week off might even do your body good. When your body has been training hard, a short break (sometimes called a deload week) can allow the muscles time to recover and prevents your fitness level hitting a plateau.
Skip yoga class for a few weeks and you’ll soon notice a decline. If you’re not substituting something equally active, the time when you had perfect abs and everything felt easy can soon become a dim and distant memory. You’ll notice the decline in several areas, some physical and some mental.
If you’re relatively new to exercise, you may start to lose the motivation to keep fit, even though you know you really ought to for the sake of your future wellbeing. One missed week leads to two or three and before you know it, you’re back into old patterns of behaviour without your healthy yoga sessions.
Within just two weeks without exercise, your aerobic capacity starts to decline (this is your heart’s ability to pump blood around the body efficiently). It will take a little longer before you start losing your hard won muscle mass and strength, but in four to six weeks away from training, this too will start to decline. Older ladies tend to lose muscle mass at a faster rate.
The fitter you are, the more you will notice the decline, but the good news is that you will have a higher level of residual fitness than a beginner, having spent years laying firm fitness foundations down.
How to prevent this decline? That’s easy really. Plan your training year and devise strategies for coping with holidays. If you have to have a few weeks off, try and fit in a few high intensity short training sessions which will really get your blood circulating. For example, plan a couple of sessions which just use body weight exercises. Programme a timer into your phone with 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest, repeating for four minutes, Tabata style, and you’re good to go. Better still, speak to us (or your hot yoga studio team) – we’ll plan a few sessions you can do anywhere, to tide you over.
Of course, we can’t replace the social connections and the laughter we have in class – for that you will need to hurry back! We’ll save you a mat space and you can be sure of a warm welcome.