on February 14, 2014 in Fitness
There are many advantages of a hot tub for the physically active person. If you enjoy exercising frequently, or participate in a sport such as cross country or tennis, you can find the hot tub to be a beneficial tool to making your workout the best possible. However, many ask us if it’s better to use the hot tub before or after their workout. This is not a simple answer, both provide great benefit if performed at the proper times.
How a Hot Tub Can Help Your Workout Routine?
How exactly does a hot tub help your body? When you soak yourself in a hot tub, the temperature of the water rises the temperature of your skin and muscles which then causes our blood vessels to dilate. This increases the blood flow to your skin and muscles. Along with the massaging power of the jets, your skin and muscles are able to relax and loosen. For the physically active this can provide essential benefits, however, only if you use the hot tub properly.
Using a Hot Tub Before Your Workout
Using the hot tub before you exercise is a great idea. You don’t need to spend too much time inside the tub, but even a quick ten minute soak can provide great benefit to your exercise routine. The hot tub will help warm up your body, especially on cold day, and increase the blood flow to your legs. You’ll start sweating, which is beneficial for maximum calorie burn. We do recommend to stay hydrated while in the tub though as to not lose too much essential water in your body once you move on to working out.
Using a Hot Tub Immediately After You Exercise
Here’s where it is ill-advised to use a hot tub. Immediately after your workout, your body temperature is already risen, your muscles are inflamed, and you’ve probably sweat out a good amount of hydration. Jumping in the hot tub would only exasperate these issues. Rather, what you need to do is cool down and drink water. Applying cold water, as in a shower, or ice will help limit the blood flow to inflamed muscles and allow them to relax. This will help your body feel better.
Using the Hot Tub 24 to 48 Hours After a Workout
The best time to receive the most benefit from your hot tub after a workout is 24 to 48 hours later. By this time, your inflamed muscles have calmed down. Soaking in a hot tub will stimulate the damaged muscles and increase blood flow to repair any issues. By damaged muscles, we don’t mean injury. Every time you exercise, muscle fibers are broken down and torn apart, then, rebuild themselves to a stronger state. This is how you build muscle. By increasing your blood flow, you are helping your muscles receive the oxygen and essential components to rebuild at a faster rate. Of course, if you are injured, the hot tub works in the same way. First, you should ice the injured area, then when swelling is reduced, soak in the hot tub and increase blood flow.
So remember, before you exercise a quick soak is beneficial. You should avoid soaking immediately after a workout, but once swelling has been reduced with the help of cold/ice, you can use your hot tub to increase blood flow and help rebuild your muscles.
If you have any more questions about exercising and your hot tub, contact us today, we’d be happy to help.