By now you’ve likely eaten, drank, eaten some more (the average American consumes 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone)… and done some shopping. Now you’re full, worn out, (broke?) and probably in need of a nap. When you wake up, there will be inevitable mad dash to undo all of the culinary damage that you shoved into a 24-48 hour period. The good news is, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans will join you and repeat this cycle for yet another year. By Friday and Saturday, most gyms are packed with renewed efforts and promises to make it a healthy Holiday Season. It’ll be even worse on Monday (when all of the leftovers are gone and everyone swears to start that diet for real this time).
If you’re interested in breaking the cycle, roll out your yoga mat and break out the weights. Yoga Sculpt might just be the perfect full body workout. The practice combines traditional yoga moves with light to medium weights. The music is more club than chakra-balancing (perfect for critics who find yoga slow and boring), and the commands are often yelled over pounding bass. Some practitioners take it up and notch and perform the class in a heated room. Talk about melting the calories off.
Advocates say it works because it combines the best of both worlds. Yoga poses help to lean out and lengthen the body, while weights increase the burn and build muscle. Add heat, and you also get a detoxifying effect (and an accelerated calorie burn).
The best instructors take care to have students move the weights through the center of the body to avoid injury. This is one weight-training class where how ‘much’ you lift is not a factor. You can get an intense workout with simple 3-pound dumbbells. There are so many combinations and repetitions, that your body will feel it long before you end the class in Savasana.