30 Day Challenge After Pregnancy

30 Day Challenge After Pregnancy

I had always been a committed member of Hot 8, taking 5-6 classes per week. I then became pregnant in June of last year, so decided to freeze my membership and focus more on non-heated yoga as well as cardio during the pregnancy (I missed Hot 8 desperately the whole time!). The pregnancy was going well until month 7 and then I developed severe pneumonia and was hospitalized. At that point I could barely take 2 steps without being completely out of breath. The pneumonia lead to some other complications to the point that I had to start working from home and could barely get myself off the couch, making exercise completely out of the question. I had always been athletic, so this was killing me. Long story short – I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy on February 28th. Four weeks later, I was back at Hot 8. Because of the great shape that I was in when I became pregnant, due only to Hot 8, I was able to bounce back very quickly….my abs were even still there. I decided to take the 30 Day Challenge to prove to myself that if I just got through the last 3 months, then I could get through 30 days of yoga! Any time that I would be in a class and want to take a break, not challenge myself, not get up at 5:30am after feeding a newborn all night to take a 6:15am class, etc., I would think back to the time of being so sick and realize that I should be thankful that I am able to accomplish this class and that my body has healed. In the end, the main things that the challenge showed me is to never take our health for granted and that anything is possible. I thought that I would never be in this great shape again, but I was wrong. Now with 2 kids and working full time, I enjoy my one hour of Hot 8 each day more than you will ever know. Thank you to your amazing teachers for challenging me on a daily basis! – Jennifer...

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The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Sweat

The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Sweat

You might work up a sweat at various times: a long run, sunny summer afternoon, or an important job interview, to name a few. Whether it’s refreshing or unplanned, sweating leads to a number of incredible health benefits, some of which may be surprising. Perspire Much? Don’t Sweat It! Glance around any fitness class, and you’ll see all kinds of perspiration. Some exercisers will be drenched from head to toe, while others will have nary a drop of sweat on the brow. Sweat isn’t exactly one of the great mysteries of the universe, but there is still a lot to discover about this amazing built-in skin system. The human body is equipped with its own cooling system. The skin is covered with approximately two to five million sweat glands that run like ductwork in an attic. How much a person sweats is determined by physiological characteristics, including age and gender, room temperature, the level of exertion during exercise, how anxious a person feels, and whether the person is overweight.1 On average, humans can produce up to one to three liters of sweat per hour. Exercise and heat are the most common causes of perspiration because sweat’s main job is to cool down the body. However, stress, anxiety, and excitement can also cause sweating.2 That’s why foods and beverages that increase anxiety, such as coffee and tea, can ramp up sweat production. Let’s take a look at the chemical makeup of sweat and learn why we all perspire in the first place. The Reasons Behind Salty and Stinky Sweat Sweat is primarily made up of water but it also contains salt and, depending on a person’s diet, other chemicals. Ever heard of the saying, “You are what you eat?” That’s not too far from the truth for sweat. The chemical composition of sweat can be altered by food and drinks, the reason for sweating, and how long a bout of sweating lasts. One of the highest mineral concentrations in sweat is sodium, which explains why sweat tastes salty. In addition, sweat contains moderate amounts of potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium as well as small amounts of trace minerals including copper, zinc, and iron.3 But not all sweat is created equally. The human body hosts two different types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands work like ducts on the skin’s surface and produce a watery substance. These glands are mostly concentrated on the brow, hands, and feet (though they cover much of the body), and they function primarily as the body’s A/C unit.4 Apocrine sweat glands are found in the hair follicles located in and around the scalp, armpits, anus, and genitals. Apocrine sweat glands produce a thicker,...

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