Hot tubs can provide you with the feeling of rebirth more than anything else we can think of. They can help to give your stiff and sore body a wonderful, rejuvenated feeling by relaxing your muscles, increasing your blood flow, and stimulating healing.
Heat and cold therapy are some of the best ways to promote healing in the muscles, as well as prevent muscle damage when participating in harder exercises. Many of us have a good understanding of the health benefits of hot tubs, though not many of us know how much a hot tub after a workout session can benefit the body.
Your hot tub may be the most immersive form of physical therapy that is available to you, and luckily, it may just be the best overall. Is going in the hot tub after a workout good? Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
BENEFITS OF A HOT TUB AFTER WORKOUTS
So you might be asking,
“What are the benefits of a hot tub after a workout?”
Beyond relaxation or fun, here are some of the top benefits to consider:
HOT TUB MUSCLE RECOVERY
When you sit in a hot tub for even a short period of time, your core temperature will change, along with your blood circulation and metabolic rate.
One of the main reasons that exercise facilities will usually provide members with access to hot tubs is that hydrotherapy is one of the best ways to reduce pain in the joints and muscles.
Plus, it benefits exercise recovery.
A study was performed by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, which showed that hot tub users were able to prevent elastic tissue damage after their workouts. A muscle protein known as Myoglobin, which is released into the bloodstream after your muscles are damaged, was reduced in numbers after patients spent time soaking in the hot tub.
Experts say that most of the muscle recovery has to do with timing it right. Relaxing in the hot tub sounds incredible after a long and arduous workout, though to help get the most out of your hot tub experience and reduce the most amount of inflammation, it is necessary to wait until your heart rate has returned to a resting state and your muscles have cooled down.
One of the best ways to do this is to put a cold pack or cold water on your muscles for about 15 minutes before slipping into a 15-minute hot tub soak.
USE AS A WARM UP
To help prevent injuries that are in correlation with working out, most intelligent athletes will stretch or warm-up first. Having warm and relaxed muscles and tendons is the best way to avoid injury.
Hot tubs are wonderful in mimicking warm-ups, as they increase blood flow to your limbs by dilating the blood vessels. This will help to reduce tension in the body overall. A 15-minute soak in the hot tub combined with a little bit of light stretching will help to prepare you for a serious workout.
You’ll be able to workout with a wider range of motion as well, as your muscles will feel more stretched out.
SLEEP AID & RECOVERY
There is nothing quite like the feeling of pure relaxation after you get out of the hot tub.
For people out there who suffer from sleep problems such as chronic insomnia, hot tubs act as a natural remedy. In a recent study, patients were shown to sleep more deeply without interruption after a long and hot bath.
The reason is known as “passive body heating”, an effect of which can be produced using a hot tub.
Aches and pains after a workout can keep you up through the night. If they don’t stop you from going to sleep, they may wake you up while you’re sleeping. Having a hot tub routine before bed can help you to soothe your muscles and your mind, which will allow you to sleep more soundly. Plus, that additional sleep will help your muscles to recover much faster so that you can get out and workout again.
TIPS FOR THE TUB: DO’S & DON’TS
DO make sure that you keep a regular routine for your exercise schedule so that your body has enough time to recover between workouts. Heat therapy is a great practice that should be taken advantage of to help you recover as fast as possible.
DON’T push yourself past your limits or workout when you haven’t had time to rest and recover.
DO make sure that you hydrate before entering the hot tub, as hot water can be very dehydrating.
DON’T ever think that staying hydrated is unimportant. Having enough water in your system while sweating or in the hot tub will help to keep you on your A-game.
DO have a warm-up routine, whether it is in the hot tub or not.
DON’T get straight into your workout if your muscles are cool or stiff. Not taking time to stretch before your workout could lead to serious injury.
Need a Hot Tub?
HOT TUB OR AN ICE BATH AFTER A WORKOUT?
This question is one of the most debatable in the world of athletics, though many experts suggest that it is best to have both a cold and hot routine after a workout. The key here is to make sure your body is recovering for the next workout. A workout will create inflammation in the muscles and joints, as it is the body’s method for healing.
While jumping in an ice bath may be great for stopping inflammation, are you are truly doing is postponing the healing process. Your best bet is to use 10-15 minutes of ice to reduce inflammation followed by 10-15 minutes of warmth to increase your blood flow and flush out nasty byproducts.
HOT TUB BEFORE OR AFTER A WORKOUT?
It is beneficial to spend time in the hot tub both before and after your workout.
A hot tub soak before your workout can act as a warm-up, helping to loosen up your muscles so that you exercise safely.
A hot tub soak after your workout can help to speed up the healing process and get you to sleep faster so that you can recover for your next workout.
We would recommend taking part in both if you can.
WHAT IS BEST AFTER A WORKOUT: STEAM ROOM, SAUNA OR HOT TUB?
Most people recommend using a hot tub after a workout thanks to the benefits of massage therapy, hydrotherapy, relaxation, and lack of pressure. When you spend 15 minutes in a hot tub, there are so many more post-workout benefits to make sure you heal faster.
With that said, spending time in a steam room or sauna can also be beneficial. The heat can help to detox your body, ridding it of nasty byproducts. It can also help to improve your cardiovascular system, cleanse your skin, and promote weight loss.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SOAK?
We recommend soaking every time you workout. It is best to give yourself a 10 to 20-minute hot tub soak prior to your exercise routine and a 10 to 20-minute hot tub soak after your exercise routine.
Of course, your next step would be to get out there and purchase a hot tub for yourself.
If you are someone who struggles with warming up before a workout or recovering after one, have a hot tub to soak in may be a very ideal option.
Having a great hot tub at home provides personal relaxation and complete balance if you live a lifestyle that is active.
Your hot tub can help you to achieve your exercise goals in the long run so that you can lead a happier and healthier life.
Are you ready to create a post-workout hot tub routine for yourself? We sure hope you are!
About The Author
Full time mommy blogger at Overthinking Mom and stay-at-home mom.