By Andrea K. Walker
12:10 PM EDT, July 24, 2013
You may feel like you're going to die during that hot yoga class, but a new study finds the extreme heat is no more strenuous on the body than taking the class in a room with lower temperatures.
Researchers found no difference in the increase in core temperature or heart rate in those who took a 60 minute hot yoga class and those who took a regular yoga class, according to an independent study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise.
The safety of the sport has often been debated because some think the temperatures, which can range from 90 to 105 degrees, can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion or lead to muscle damage.
The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
Anytime exercise is conducted in extreme temperaturs, it's important to remain hydrated and to watch for overheating," ACE Chief Science Officer Dr. Cedric Bryant said in a statement. "However this study showed that while higher sweat levels may cause participants to feel like they were working harder, heart rates showed they were actually at comparable levels whether in the regular or hot yoga class."
Bryant said more study needs to be done on classes with the highest temperatures, such as Bikram yoga, which is taught in temperatures of 105 degress or higher.
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