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Q & A: Hot Yoga

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Most recent answer: 06/30/2009
Q:
I attend a Bikram Hot Yoga studio -- where they maintain the temperture during the 90 minute class at 105 degrees F. The relative humidity rating stays constant during the class at around 40. When they turn the fans on early, I notice a distinct increase in my performance levels; also, I perceive that by core body temperture is cooler (when compared to the days the fans are not turned on). The teacher/owner of the studio insists the percieved coolness and increased performance is all based in my head; I should be able to perform the same with the fans on or off. I have researched it pretty well; but there is no concise evidence or article that I can put my hands on. There are articles and on core body temperture and how it relates to athletic endurance/performance -- where core temperture is inversely relational to performance. So does the increased airflow from the fans aid in the evaporation of sweat off my body thereby cooling my body -- alot of my readings indicate this should not happen due to the increased humidity in the room. Maybe the downward air pressure caused by the ceiling fans has something to do with allowing the airflow to aid in the energy transfer and release of water vapor off my body. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.
- RickL20@comcast.net (age 49)
Hudson, NH, USA
A:
Wow, 105 degrees and 40% relative humidity!    That's a heat index rating of 121 degrees. 
I'm with you. A little breeze will aid in the evaporation of sweat, cool you off, and improve your performance, so long as the relative humidity doesn't reach 100%. 

LeeH 



(published on 06/30/2009)

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