True or False? Hot yoga burns more fat than other forms of Yoga.

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For many the draw of Bikram (aka hot yoga) is the increased calorie burn relative to other forms of yoga.  It makes logical sense; we think that because vigorous exercise is linked to sweating, sweating on the mat means we are working harder and burning more calories and more fat.  The problem is that this is simply not true.

Nearly every study on this subject showed that, while heart rate and core temperature climbed significantly during a 90-minute Bikram class, the participants’ metabolic rates—or the amount of calories their bodies burned—were roughly equivalent to those of people walking briskly. 

That’s not much at all.  And as with any exercise you perform in an attempt to lose weight, it collectively depends on such factors as how intense the activity is, how frequently you do it, the number of calories you consume daily and your overall lifestyle.  When trying to lose excess weight, how much you sweat is insignificant as it contains no fat or calories. 

Hot yoga does have benefits.   Done frequently enough you’ll gain a modest increase in strength and muscle control, as well as improve your balance.  If your goal is to lose weight then you may want to consider a more challenging yoga class like Ashtanga or Power Yoga.  You’ll burn more overall calories while boosting your metabolism.

Contact us if you need help with your exercise program and want to shed a few pounds.