Sweat, it’s the body’s go-to "climate control" and your best way to avoid overheating in a heated yoga class (heck, even a non-heated practice can make you sweat let’s be honest).
The “athleisure” industry is booming with clothing options to keep you covered from work to your workout. Brands like Free People Movement, ALO, Lululemon, Beyond Yoga, Spiritual Gangster, Vuori, and more are specializing in materials + styles + fit to feel more versatile with the way you move to match your environment. As a fitness instructor, I even have athleisure clothes that are slated for “teaching” vs. “practicing”.
So let’s break it down -- Are the people in sweat-soaked t-shirts or the ones in “barely there” bikini bottoms” dressed best to beat the heat?
You can feel it from the moment you find your place in the heated room, your pores open and a stream of salty sweat drips down your left temple and another down your spine. By the means of evaporating off your skin, sweat removes heat from your body, cooling you down. Thank goodness, because we are only 5 minutes into a 90-minute class... talk about survival mode.
Studies show that the more skin that is exposed to direct air exchange, the faster the sweat can turn into vapor = cooling you down faster. Loose clothing or bare skin lets your body heat radiate out directly. Avoid wearing make-up on your face because those pores can become clogged inhibiting your ability to cool down effectively.
Some specialty athleisure clothing is made from fabrics that can “wick” or “pull” sweat away from the skin through microscopic gaps between the fibers. These gaps help the sweat evaporate quicker and your body can regulate body your temperature more effectively. Some advanced fabrics have “beads” that swell when moistened by sweat, absorbing heat as they expand.
Fun Fact: A new recycled plastic-based fabric can keep skin around 4 degrees cooler than cotton. Stay tuned to see if they make it beyond their testing phase!