Does Hot Yoga Burn More Calories than Regular Yoga?

Yoga can be great exercise, and the particular version you choose determines the number of calories you burn.

Q. Does practicing hot yoga burn more calories than regular yoga?

A. Yoga can be great exercise, and the particular version you choose determines the number of calories you burn (between 200 and 600 calories per hour, depending on intensity of action). Exercising in the heat does burn more calories since your heart is pumping harder to your extremities to help you lower your body temperature, which rises faster in hot weather. This occurs not only with hot yoga, which consists of practicing yoga in a heated environment, but also with any outdoor activity in hot weather.

Don’t confuse sweating (and water loss) with burning huge numbers of extra calories and weight loss for hot yoga; excessive sweating, to help lower body temperature, causes loss of body water and temporary weight loss. A word of caution: Before you begin doing hot yoga or any high-temperature exercise, make sure you have your doctor’s clearance because such activities require a greater effort from your heart.

 


Dr. Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., C.N.S., is the founder and director of UPMC’s Weight Management Center. She is the diet and nutrition editor for NBC’s “Today Show” and is the author of The Runner’s Diet and The Real You Diet. Also, visit “Health Journal with Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom,” a health and wellness blog at iVillage.com.

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