Coffee: Healthy or Harmful?

Starbucks. Jobot. Cartel Coffee Lab. Lux. Fair Trade Cafe. One Coffee Co. They’re all downtown coffee shops that a sizable amount of the community frequents regularly. But are we really drinking to our health?

Choose your coffee wisely!

Choose your coffee wisely!

I’m sure you’ve heard arguments that promote and demote the regular consumption of coffee. The question is, which argument is most convincing?

As a regular coffee drinker downtown, I think it’s essential to really understand how to drink coffee in a healthy way — if that’s even possible. Don’t worry, you’ll know by the end of this post.

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of many illnesses, including but not limited to Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver cancer and even depression.

Harvard’s School of Public Health reports that coffee really doesn’t have any detrimental effects on health, and for people who don’t have high blood pressure or high blood sugar, coffee could actually be a healthy drink option.

But hold on! One thing you must keep in mind when reading the statistics behind how coffee is healthy for you is that when the researcher mentions “coffee,” oftentimes it’s black coffee with no milk and no sugar. Let’s be honest, now, how many of us really drink our daily coffee like this?

Probably not the majority of us.

On the flip side, the Mayo Clinic also reports that drinking high volumes of “unfiltered” coffee (boiled or espresso) can increase unhealthy levels of cholesterol and ultimately induce heart disease.

After referring to the Harvard School of Public Health’s analysis on coffee, it’s apparent that whether your coffee intake is healthy is highly dependent on the individual. Some people can drink six cups of coffee and be just fine. Others might do the same and begin to feel jittery or uneasy. It’s a highly variable substance, because everyone reacts differently to caffeine based on their medical history.

So as you can see, in order to drink coffee the “healthy” way, you have to walk a thin line. But don’t worry — this line isn’t as thin as you think.

Honestly, the most unhealthy way you can drink coffee is to get a drink filled with tons of syrup and fattening milk. Yes, once in a while, splurge! But on your daily grind, try to order a house coffee blend with nonfat milk and a moderate amount of sugar.

Not only will you be doing your heart and liver a favor, you’ll be doing your waistline a favor too.

Read more about what the Mayo Clinic has to say about coffee consumption here.

Read more about what Harvard’s School of Public Health has to say here.

Stay healthy, my friends! Cheers to healthy coffee consumption!

Downtown Dining Decisions

It’s finally April, and New Year’s resolutions of healthier eating have fallen off and been replaced with a greater desire to go out for a delicious meal delivered right to your table. Those vows of “bringing your lunch to school” no longer seem realistic, especially when stopping somewhere near ASU’s Downtown campus is so quick.

Bowl of Greens is a great option!

Bowl of Greens is a great option!

Going out to eat near campus doesn’t have to put an end to your resolution of eating healthier. Most restaurants Downtown include just-as-good, healthy options in addition to some of the less nutritious items on the menu.

Here are some students’ favorite spots downtown and their healthier options:

Corner Bakery Cafe – Arizona Center
Many students on the Downtown campus rave about Corner Bakery, and with good reason! Their fresh, comforting food and relaxed environment make it ideal for studying or hanging out with friends. A few food swaps also make it a healthy choice.

  • Egg whites: There are lots of breakfast scramblers and sandwiches that can be high in calories. Asking for only egg whites instead of the whole egg can drop the calorie count by almost 200 on some dishes! It hardly tastes different and still offers plenty of protein and flavor.
  • Combos: Staying healthy is all about portion control. Corner Bakery makes that easy by offering sandwich and salad combos. You can still have half of a sandwich or soup, but you can also pair it with a low-calorie salad. My favorite is the California Grille Panini paired with a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette, which is a filling 410 calories.
  • Pastries: If you can’t walk by their pastries without giving in, indulge in the oatmeal raisin cookie — the healthiest option — and enjoy it!

Jimmy John’s – CityScape
Sub sandwiches delivered right to your door might be the greatest invention of all time, especially with Jimmy John’s’ unbelievable French bread (which has fewer calories than their seven-grain wheat bread option — even though the wheat sounds healthier). It’s my go-to for when I’m looking for something super quick and just have that craving that can only be satisfied by Jimmy John’s.

  • Turkey Tom: I’ve tried a few other sandwiches, but I always go back to the classic Turkey Tom. Order it with extra veggies and light mayo, and you have yourself a well-rounded, healthy meal!
  • Unwich: If you’re really trying to cut carbs or gluten, try the unwich –sandwich fillings in a lettuce wrap. I recommend ordering extra meat so you’re not sacrificing too much flavor or filling protein.

Matt’s Big Breakfast – 825 N. First St.
Matt’s Big Breakfast is classic breakfast served in a classic diner and perfect for a weekend brunch!

  • Classic Breakfast: It can be hard to sacrifice a plate of waffles for a bowl of fruit, so I encourage you to get both. Just fill up a little on the fruit first, then dig into the less-healthy dish. Still enjoy it … just take some home for tomorrow’s breakfast.
  • Oats: Oatmeal is one of those healthy carbs that is necessary for optimal health and should be integrated into your diet. Ask for the toppings, such as milk, raisins and brown sugar, on the side and sweeten it as you go, so you don’t overdo it and save some calories. Still feel like you’re missing out? Get a side of bacon, hash browns or eggs so you still get a taste of the good stuff.

Starbucks Coffee – Taylor Place
Starbucks always has picturesque pastries on display that can easily lure a hungry college student in. If you look just below the sugary treats, you’ll see many delicious options that have significantly more nutritional value.

  • Protein Bistro Box: It’s the perfect combination of protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats in a portable box. There is plenty of flavor and it will keep you full for hours.
  • Evolution Products: Evolution, the relatively new brand that Starbucks is carrying, has some great granola bars, drinks and bags of nuts that fit perfectly in a “clean” eating plan.
  • Fruit: If there isn’t fresh fruit, there are dried fruit and bottled smoothies that offer a wide range of fruits to sip on. It’s still sweet, but not 500 calories per treat like the iced lemon pound cake is.

Bowl Of Greens – Walter Cronkite Building
Almost any choice you make at Bowl Of Greens will be healthier than other restaurants. There are a few choices that provide the most nutrition and plenty of flavor.

  • Vinaigrette: With whichever salad you create or order, get a vinaigrette dressing. It will likely be olive oil-based, which provides all of the omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need. It helps us absorb all the other nutrients being consumed from the salad.
  • Protein: If you’re building your own salad, make sure you include beans in the four included toppings. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for premium toppings, get seeds/nuts, meat or a hard-boiled egg. Protein helps keep you full so you’re not snacking an hour later.

With smart choices and smarter eating, you can cut down on calories and still enjoy a great meal out!

Bike Month!

April is Bike Month in the lovely Valley of the Sun, and you know what this means!

There will be tons of biking events and bike enthusiasts everywhere. Now is the perfect time to become active in the community and at the same time become active physically!

Happy Bike Month, Phoenix!

Happy Bike Month, Phoenix!

So what do you need to know for Bike Month? Well, a lot.

You already know the health benefits behind biking, as discussed in a previous post. But, to recap, biking is one of the best ways to promote health. Not only does it tone muscles and burn fat, it makes you a happier person with a better sleep cycle. Haha. Cycle.

There are a lot of events throughout the month of April that you should become aware of. That way, you can plan ahead and hopefully attend them!

Some of the events that you should mark on your calendar are the following events happening in downtown Phoenix:

April 12 – Co+Hoots Grid Bike Share demo and Phoenix Spokes People neighborhood bike ride
This event is essentially a neighborhood bike ride off of Washington Street that goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a free Grid Bike Share demonstration and test rides as well.

April 18 – Official Bike to School/Work Day
Be sure to bike to school or work on April 18 in tribute to this Valley-wide bike day! Skip your cardio workout and get out in the fresh air.

April 22 – Phoenix/Maricopa County Bike to Work Day
Phoenix City Council is putting on a cool event where the police will escort a 3-mile ride to CityScape. Everyone will meet at Central Avenue and Earll Drive at 7 a.m., and T-shirts, prizes and more will be available — including free breakfast for the first 300 registered participants! Sign up soon!

More information on biking events that are going on around the Valley can be found here.

I urge all of you to take advantage of these great events that will be happening in the next 28 days! A lot of the events are free and there are lots of giveaways. But the most important thing you’ll gain from going to any of these events is a greater sense of community and a healthier you!

Stay healthy, my friends.

Urban Health Care

Good health oftentimes dictates quality of life. If you’re healthy, generally speaking, you’re happy. People strive to be healthy and have health care at the tips of their fingers. Therefore, health care accessibility is arguably one of the most important aspects of a city’s infrastructure.

Accessible healthcare is essential to the health of downtown Phoenix.

Accessible health care is essential to the health of downtown Phoenix.

Given this, where does downtown Phoenix stand in terms of health care accessibility?

Unfortunately, health care accessibility isn’t really where it should be in downtown Phoenix. It’s not the biggest metropolis in the country, but compared to other urban areas, downtown Phoenix has limited health care options for its residents.

Even though health care accessibility isn’t a strong point for downtown Phoenix, there are venues that serve the downtown community, and do it quite well.

Cigna Medical Group CareToday clinics are a great alternative to the traditional doctor’s office visit. Located conveniently off of Central and Adams in downtown Phoenix, CMG CareToday never requires an appointment or insurance to receive medical attention. With shorter wait times and cheaper cost than a traditional clinic, one would think that the range of care would be limited — but it’s not. CMG CareToday can see children as young as six months old and has a highly trained staff of medical professionals.

Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) is located off of 12th Avenue and Madison and is a place where the homeless community of downtown Phoenix can go to receive the health care they need. They offer primary care, mental health services, substance abuse services, case management and nutrition services and serve residents of all major shelters in the downtown Phoenix area.

Our very own nursing building, ASU Health Services Downtown NP Healthcare, offers quite an array of medical services for downtown Phoenix residents and ASU students alike. They offer a discount to uninsured individuals who aren’t students. If you are an uninsured student, the ASU Bridge Program and Aetna student health insurance are options the clinic can provide. Service areas include physical exam rooms, a procedure room, mental health consultation rooms and research/student education spaces.

So why is urban health care so important? I mean, is health care accessibility in urban areas really that important?

Daniella Campas, a pre-med student at the ASU Downtown campus, thinks urban health care is vital to the success of the downtown Phoenix community.

“I think it should be more accessible for the individuals who don’t have the capability of acquiring the right medical attention they need. Especially in the downtown Phoenix area, there are a lot of citizens who need medical attention and need to be able to access it. Making it so that in urban areas people can get the right attention needed. This could help countless lives and benefit them greatly.”

Sara Perry, a pre-med student at the Downtown campus as well, agrees that urban health care is a necessary component to a metropolis like downtown Phoenix.

“Urban health care is very important. There aren’t a lot of places people can go to receive help if they don’t have insurance. So health clinics really help out when people need medical attention.”

It’s encouraging to know that the future providers of health care, like these pre-med students, believe that urban health care is a cornerstone to building a vibrant downtown community. Maybe with this kind of initiative, urban health care will find a larger home in downtown Phoenix.

Well, folks, as you can see, the demand for urban health care is definitely there — it’s just a matter of figuring out how to make it more readily available.

Cheers to a healthier downtown Phoenix community! Stay healthy, my friends.

Biking in Downtown Phoenix

Have you ever considered reducing your travel time if you walk between two places, toning the muscles you have without any extra effort or increasing your stamina and, in turn, making your heart healthier?

Urban biking has a bright future in downtown Phoenix.

Urban biking has a bright future in downtown Phoenix.

If not, you should consider taking to two wheels as your source of urban transportation. Biking is an activity that enhances your health and the health of your community!

Urban biking is especially something downtown Phoenix residents should consider. Commuting by car or by foot in downtown can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where biking can make your life so much easier.

If you bike, you don’t have to worry about long commutes or traffic jams. On a healthier note, biking is good for you in many ways.

Biking helps burn fat, promotes healthy sleeping habits, encourages healthy digestion and even increases the endorphins in your brain, which makes you a happier, more confident person.

ASU exercise physiologist Christopher Berger is an avid biker and takes a personal interest in biking issues.

“Of course biking is healthy. We’ve got pretty dry air and nice sunshine, so it’s nice to be outside. Our roads are pretty well-kept, you know, there are no potholes or anything like that … and they’re flat, so biking isn’t very strenuous. Logistically, biking is a good idea — it saves you so much time. Health- and fitness-wise, it’s a good idea. It’s just nice to be outside.”

Berger said he thinks biking has more of a future in downtown Phoenix compared to Tempe simply because enforcement is a little bit different.

“People would be more proactive about putting bike lanes in around downtown Phoenix. There are already colored biking lanes on some downtown streets, so I’m pretty optimistic.”

So what exactly makes biking so healthy, and how do you ensure to make the most of your biking experience?

Berger said it’s a combination of things.

“Depending on how you set your gears up, biking can be a very aerobic exercise. If you set your gears really high, it become anaerobic for a little while, because you have to increase the amount of force you generate to move the bike. If you have a lightweight bike, you can bike for a long period of time. I think there’s a lot to be said for a really strong-frame mountain bike because in urban biking you have to have something that’s pretty durable.”

Another source that really promotes urban biking is the organization BikeForce.

BikeForce Phoenix is a collaboration of courier cyclists in downtown Phoenix who serve the business community.

BikeForce aims to help businesses reduce the operating costs of sending packages, documents and parcels all while promoting green energy, environmental awareness and physical fitness.

Could this get any better?

Thomas Johnston, office manager of BikeForce Phoenix, explained why biking is so beneficial to the downtown community.

“We deliver packages from business to business via bike. We are all for urban cycling here at BikeForce. I’m a big believer in biking — the more bikes on the road, the better. It’s healthier and better for the economy. Studies have shown that when there’s more biking, the economy’s better, because people don’t have to worry about parking. I bike almost 100 miles a week. I’ve been a courier for 16 years, and it’s just how I move around.”

Now that you’ve heard testimonials from two passionate sources about the benefits of urban biking, it’s up to you to broaden those horizons and perhaps try breaking biking into your schedule.

Not only will it help the environment, it will help keep you healthier! So get out there and cycle away toward a healthier you.

Stay healthy, my friends!

Allergens: Your Pets and You

The itchy and watery eyes, the red and inflamed nose, the congestion and the dull headache at the top of your head — a lot of us have been there, and one thing is unanimously known: allergies are not fun.

Don't let your allergies keep you from spending time with a furry friend you love.

Don’t let your allergies keep you from spending time with a furry friend you love.

According to WebMD, 55 percent of Americans are allergic to something, whether it’s a food, a plant, or an animal. About 10 percent of the population is allergic to animals. So what does this mean for our lovely pet owners who happen to have allergies?

Two professors at the Downtown campus shed some light on the issue.

“Children who are outside a fair amount are exposed more to allergens and might develop more of a tolerance than other children,” ASU exercise and wellness professor Kathy Campbell says.

“Studying allergies is an inexact science. Anti-histamines aren’t a permanent solution, and studies show that allergies are increasing with each new generation. There’s not really one thing that triggers allergens in people,” ASU biology professor John Olson says.

Both professors agree that keeping children in too sterile of an environment with little, if any, interaction with the outdoors and a little bit of dirt could be a potential cause of pet allergies in our community. Sometimes being too clean can be an issue! This is not to say that you should overcompensate and get too dirty. But, like Olson mentioned, it’s about striking a balance or maintaining a golden mean.

Now that you have some background on the dimensional issue of allergies, you might be wondering how to help relieve symptoms you experience. There are solutions to alleviating the misery you may be in due to pet allergies without taking medication. By all means, if you need medication, please take it — but I’ve highlighted a few ways you can help your allergies without popping pills.

Believe it or not, giving your pet a bath and brushing its fur can make all the difference. Oftentimes, when done once a week, it greatly cuts down the amount of suffering allergic people endure simply because airborne allergens are then not at an all-time high.

Not allowing the pet to go into certain areas of the house is also a good way to combat allergies. This way, your body can become immune to the allergens without being overwhelmed as you are able to go into your “safe zone” where the animal isn’t allowed.

Vacuuming is probably a more obvious option to help keep allergens at bay, but it’s still important to follow through with. All the excess fur that collects along with dust will just irritate your nasal passages if left unvacuumed.

Make sure to keep your pet supplies away from any sort of air conditioner/heater. The last thing you want is for these allergens to be spread throughout the house via recirculation. This applies to anything the animal uses regularly, such as litter boxes, chew toys, beds and other items in direct contact with the animal.

Allergies are such a multifaceted issue with so many different causes. They really show that no two human beings are exactly alike when it comes to what can trigger allergies, how to successfully treat allergies when they arise and how to maintain an allergy-free lifestyle.

The downtown Phoenix community especially needs to be aware of how to maintain an allergy-free lifestyle just because many of us live in small areas, and if we do, in fact, have the pet/allergy combo, we need to be aware of ways to deal with this very widespread issue.

Stay healthy, my friends!

Yoga in Downtown Phoenix

Have you ever felt like you’re in a slump? Is your energy level on a constant decrease as your workload increases? After all the coffee and energy drinks you consume, do you still find yourself feeling tired or really just dead? Well I have a solution for you.

Inchworms. You'll learn to love them. Photo via Evie Carpenter

Inchworms. You’ll learn to love them. (Photo by Evie Carpenter)

Exercise!

Now, don’t get all hot and bothered. If traditional exercise like getting on the treadmill or elliptical just isn’t your scene, yoga might be your best bet.

As you’ve probably heard before, yoga is not only beneficial to your body in terms of muscle toning, it also helps release toxins that can be harmful to your health if built up in less-than-proportional terms.

So, what are you waiting for? If you want to rejuvenate your schedule and throw a fun, healthy activity into your routine, try yoga!

There are several downtown or near-downtown options that can cater to your yoga needs! Refer to the list below.

Urban Yoga: This yoga option is the most versatile in price variation and yoga type offered. They offer student and other categorical discounts, which is really great! All classes are done in rooms that are 80-85 degrees to promote better muscle mobility. It also does good for the community by donating select proceeds to local charities.

Sutra Midtown: Sutra Midtown is honestly one of my favorite places. Its motto involves mixing the traditional parts of yoga with a modern flair, and that’s what really sets it apart. They offer eight different flow yoga options: vinyasa, power, core, basic, slow, candlelight, power hour and yin.

Yoga Phoenix: The main type of yoga practiced at Yoga Phoenix is Kundalini Yoga, which is a combination of yoga poses, chants, and breathing exercises. Focus is placed on the spiritual part of yoga as equally as the physical benefits of yoga. Partaking in yoga at this nonprofit yoga option is sure to pay off.

Desert Song Yoga: This yoga option places a lot of emphasis on the body and soul healing combination and also stresses community health. Essentially, a lot of the classes offered at Desert Song Yoga are structured to build bonds between classmates and really take the spiritual part of yoga to the next level.

Yoga Pura: With two Valley locations, this might be a great option for those of us who commute between two places often like a dorm and your parents’ house. The structure of Yoga Pura’s classes has three categories: fundamental, active and gentle. They cater to all levels of yoga knowledge.

As you can see there are tons of yoga places near downtown Phoenix! So get out there and experience something new. Seriously, yoga is really a great option for stressful lifestyles.

Stay healthy, my friends!

Are Sub Sandwiches Really as Healthy as They’re Made Out to Be?

We all saw and heard the ads for the oh-so-witty “JanuANY” special Subway chains around the country were advocating as soon as the first light on New Year’s Day was visible. So, with all the hype about any regular footlong now being a $5 footlong, I became curious.

Fill your plate tastefully: avoid sub sandwiches that could compromise your intentions of eating healthy.

Fill your plate tastefully: avoid sub sandwiches that could compromise your intentions of eating healthy.

Subway is widely considered the “healthiest” fast food option to many people. But, exactly how healthy is a sub sandwich?

I mean, don’t meatball marinara and Philly cheesesteak subs make you question exactly how healthy a sub can be when it’s drizzled in cheese or loaded with potentially fattening meatballs?

It definitely got me questioning the health behind sub sandwiches. So, naturally, like any other 20-year-old, I consulted the internet.

According to NY Daily News, a $5 footlong at Subway might, in fact, be less healthy than a McDonald’s Big Mac. After citing a fascinating UCLA study, they uncovered some very intriguing realizations.

They found, for instance, that Subway’s Big Philly Cheesesteak sub sandwich weighs in at a whopping 1,000 calories and has nearly 2,560 grams of sodium. This turns out to be double that of the esteemed McDonald’s Big Mac, which clocks in at 550 calories with 970 grams of sodium.

What does this mean for that avid sub sandwich eater? Well, don’t freak out right away.

After consulting the NY Daily News article and other sources, I came to the realization that there is a way to avoid consuming all these excess calories that are masked behind a brand that people automatically equate with health.

It’s the added cheeses, excessively oily meats and calorie-rich sauces that really make the sub sandwich you think is a healthy choice an unhealthy one instead.

So, when you’re at Subway, or any other sub sandwich shop for that matter, be conscious of what sort of sub you are getting! Don’t overload on three different types of cheeses, salami and ranch dressing. Remember, moderation is key.

Your best bet is to customize your sub by adding a single slice of cheese of your choice, any cold-cut meat and a lighter dressing.

Wherever you are, whether it’s at downtown Phoenix’s beloved Carly’s or just the Subway on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, be sure to be cognizant of what type of sub you’re consuming. Don’t fall victim to a great price and a healthy logo!

Stay healthy, my friends!

Late-Night Snacking 101

Hello, hello! Devilishly Healthy is back and is off to a running start! Welcome back, readers. To be honest, I may or may not have gone completely overboard this winter break. Okay, I definitely went overboard. With food, family and so much fun, it was hard to stay on track healthwise. But hey, it’s a new year and now is my chance and your chance to revamp your dietary habits!

Fruit is truly the best option for those late night munchies!

Fruit is truly the best option for those late-night munchies!

This week’s topic is going to focus on late-night snacking. We’re now at that point in the semester where classes have definitely started to pick up, and at this breaking point, our bodies might not have adjusted to the workload. So, we may start to overcompensate when it comes to our nutritional needs.

So can we speak in layman’s terms now?

Do you find that after a long day of classes and a mediocre dinner at 6 p.m., that by 10 p.m. or later your stomach is grumbling? If your answer is yes, good news! You’re not alone.

The bottom line is, sometimes we don’t get the most out of dinner, or we feel inclined to eat a few hours after dinner for no legitimate reason at all. That’s okay — as long as you regulate what you consume after about 6 p.m.

The metabolism is a fascinating thing. It is known that metabolic processes are linked to the time of day you consume food. So what does this mean for you?

Generally speaking, unless you’re some metabolic anomaly, the metabolism functions at its best during the day and slows during the night. So, it’s ideal to eat your biggest meals during the day time and then eat smaller portions as the day goes on.

But what happens when you’re starving at 11 p.m.?

I interviewed ASU sophomore Ashley Garcia, a nutrition major with a concentration in dietetics. She said, while eating late isn’t ideal — the reality is that it does happen.

So we should all be prepared for this!

Garcia said that eating heavy foods with lots of fats and oils are generally not the best options for a midnight snack. But she did say that eating fruits and even dark chocolate is a good option for that late night fix.

Being a college student in the lovely downtown Phoenix, where can you get some good tasting, healthy late-night snacks?

For one thing, Devil’s Greens is a great option. It has the fruit bar and a yogurt bar that can satisfy the sweetness craving while maintaining decent calorie intake.

Another option is to buy some fruit and keep it. I would highly recommend getting your fruit from the Phoenix Public Market. It’s always a good feeling to know you’re shopping locally and eating fruit that isn’t covered in pesticides.

Well, friends, the motto of this week is: when in doubt, eat fruit! When you’re up late studying and you need a quick pick-me-up, whip out a healthy snack that’s fiber-rich. But also, remember that portions are important too!

Stay healthy, my friends!

Hot yoga: Is it just a fad?

You’ve probably heard the illusive term “hot yoga.” What comes to mind?

Do you envision a crowded room filled with artificial light and sweaty people simultaneously engaged in poses that stretch convention?

Or do you envision something more private — perhaps a small group that practices in a low-light sauna, each bead of sweat produced a testament to their commitment to health?

Om.

Om.

The truth is, there are many different ways to engage in hot yoga. You can do it in classes with more than 200 people; you can do it with 10 people. The lights can be recessed lighting or candles — the options are endless.

But one fact remains constant: hot yoga is one of the best things you can do for your body.

Doing hot yoga in a room that’s anywhere from 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit increases your pulse and metabolism. This, in turn, allows for better circulation throughout the body.

So when you sweat a lot, that means you lose more weight, right? Not necessarily! Studies have shown that the fact that you sweat more in hot yoga does not mean you will lose more weight than you would at standard room temperature. However, more harmful toxins are released during hot yoga through the greater amount of sweat than with yoga done at standard room temperature.

By far the greatest advantage to doing hot yoga is the fact that your body will surpass the expected level of flexibility that currently defines how you pose. The heat loosens up tight muscles and knots, also lubricating joints that would normally inhibit your body from reaching its full potential.

However, while there are many advantages to doing hot yoga, you still need to take certain precautions. Staying hydrated is essential! It’s recommended that you drink at least 2-3 liters on top of the required eight glasses of water daily if you plan to commit to hot yoga as a fitness routine.

Also, food intake needs to be monitored. It’s recommended that you eat a small snack before doing hot yoga — too empty or too full of a stomach is detrimental to the hot yoga experience.

But, the most important thing is to listen to your body while doing hot yoga, and be careful not to overexert yourself. Oftentimes, you want to ignore the minor things you feel in a workout routine, but with hot yoga, the risk of passing out is higher than normal. It’s vital to take breaks when needed.

But, holistically speaking, hot yoga is a great fitness routine to get into. Not only will you burn calories and increase your flexibility, you will also put your mind at ease and keep your mental health in check! So, the verdict has been passed. Hot yoga is not just a fad. It’s arguably the best way to practice yoga because of all the added benefits. So get out there! Grab a buddy and sign up for a hot yoga class. The experience will be unforgettable, and your body will love you for it!