Acute physiologic effects of performing yoga in the heat on energy expenditure, range of motion, and inflammatory biomarkers

Bradley S. Lambert, Katherine E. Miller, Domenica A. Delgado, Kalyan Chaliki, Joshua Lee, Guillermo Bauza, Francesca Taraballi, David Dong, Ennio Tasciotti, Joshua D. Harris, Patrick McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

International Journal of Exercise Science 13(3): 802-817, 2020. Performing yoga in a heated environment (HY) is a popular exercise mode purported to improve range of motion (ROM), body composition, and aerobic fitness. The purpose of this investigation was to compare a session of HY to room temperature yoga (RTY) with regards to ROM, oxygen consumption, caloric expenditure, and biomarkers of acute stress and inflammation. Sixteen experienced yoga practitioners (F14, M2; 40 ± 11yr; 22.6 ± 1.8 kg/m2) completed a 1-hour standardized Bikram sequence in HY (105⁰F, 40⁰C) and RTY (74⁰F, 23.3⁰C) conditions (order of conditions randomized, humidity standardized at 40%). Intra-exercise metabolic gas exchange and heart rate (HR) was monitored using a metabolic cart. ROM measures were taken pre and post-exercise at the elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee. Cytokines interleukin 6,10 (IL-6, IL-10) and tumor-necrosis-factor alpha (TNF-α) were analyzed from blood samples collected pre- and 30-minutes post-exercise. Intra-exercise metabolic gas exchange and heart rate (HR) was monitored using a metabolic cart. Both bouts elicited similar acute changes in ROM although HY elicited a greater increase in hip abduction (RTYΔ⁰ = 2.3 ± 1.3|HYΔ⁰ = 6.6 ± 1.5; p < 0.05). Mean VO2, peak VO2, %VO2max, HR, and kcal expenditure did not differ between conditions. RER was lower during the HY (RTY = 0.95 ± 0.02| HY = 0.89 ± 0.02; p < 0.05) with a concomitant elevation in fat oxidation (RTY = 0.05 ± 0.01|HY = 0.09 ± 0.01, g‧min- 1; p < 0.05) and decrease in carbohydrate oxidation (RTY = 0.51 ± 0.04|HY = 0.44 ± 0.03, g‧min-1; p < 0.05). Serum IL- 6 was increased (15.5 ± 8.0-fold) following HY only (p < 0.05). HY does not significantly elevate aerobic energy cost compared to RTY but may acutely increase fat substrate utilization and hip ROM. Future studies remain needed to establish dose-response relationships for including HY or RTY into well-rounded fitness programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-817
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Bikram yoga
  • Fitness
  • Hot yoga
  • Range of motion
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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