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How to Condition for Heat Stress: Get Hotter with Hot Yoga

 

 

World record holding breaststroke champion Lilly King complained that swimming in the hot outdoors was challenging for her, and although Zane Grothe broke the American record in the 800 meter free he said he had to struggle with heat as the water temperature for competition raised in the heat.  Now we may have hit on a solution. In a fascinating study from the Cardiovascular Physiology & Rehabilitation Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada the clinical research team headed by Perrotta, evaluated the effectiveness of hot yoga as a heat stress technique for enhancing plasma volume and cardiovascular performance in elite female field hockey players, as reported in the J Strength Cond Res 2018.

 

1. Blood pumps oxygen and nutrition to your muscles,. Generally, performance is aided by having enhanced circulation. One way to do this is to train the heart to pump better, the other way to do this is to hydrate. An illegal way to enhance circulation and the oxygen was blood doping, with exercise and nutrition you build your own circulatory system.

 

2. In competition the body builds heat, and has to handle the heat, in summer this is even more challenging. World record holding breaststroke champion Lilly King complained that swimming in the hot outdoors was challenging for her. So this group of researchers wanted to evaluate how they could train athletes to handle heat stress better, and they came up with Hot Yoga training! This study specifically looked at plasma volume percentage (PV%) and cardiovascular performance in field hockey players. Ten international caliber female field hockey players were led through a 60-minute hot yoga sessions over 6 days, followed by a 6-day national team training camp. The effectiveness of this technique for enhancing cardiovascular fitness was then to do maximal exercise testing, and they found meaningful improvements at many aspects of their fitness including running speed and respiratory fitness.

 

3. You still will undergo some heat stress during the workouts. The athletes were noted to have volume depletion during the hot yoga, that persisted during hot yoga days, and then their blood volume expanded over the next 72 hours after intervention that decreased slightly, but with volume and cardiovascular improvement over 6 days. But as a pre-race plan, and an in-season plan that would work with rest weeks within the yearly plan, the physiologists propose that coaches and athletes could very successfully use hot yoga to enhance their sports performance. At Hatha Yoga and Fitness hot yoga classes are available, infrared heat is used at 96 degrees Fahrenheit.  

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