Whether you’re warming up before a workout or relaxing your muscles afterward, your hot tub can perfectly complement your fitness routine.
Here, we’ll go over some ideas for making the most of your hot tub both before and after you exercise.
Before your workout, use your hot tub to:
● Get in a relaxed mindset.
● Warm up your joints and muscles.
After your workout, use your hot tub to:
● Relieve joint pain.
● Soothe sore muscles
Before exercising, a soak in the hot tub can help you:
Get In a Relaxed Mindset
The last thing you want during your workout is for the stress and anxiety of your day to ruin your concentration. This is especially true if you plan on doing a relaxing or meditative form of exercise such as yoga, tai chi or qigong.
Luckily, jumping in the hot tub before you start exercising can help you achieve the mindset you need to get a great and calming workout.
In 2018, a study titled “Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study” was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
There, researchers found that people who take warm baths instead of showers experienced reduce stress, anxiety, tension and anger.
Want to feel calm and focused during your next workout? Simply spend ten minutes soaking in the hot tub beforehand.
Warm Up Your Joints and Muscles
Although there is some scientific disagreement on just how much warming up before exercise helps performance and reduces injury, the general consensus is that it does help to some degree or another, and is more helpful than stretching.
In a 2015 article published by Harvard Medical School, “Ask the doctor: Stretching before exercise,” Dr. William Kormos explained that a proper pre-workout warmup will increase blood flow to your muscles and joints.
Since soaking in a hot tub raises your temperature and expands your blood vessels, hopping in for a dip before you exercise can be a fantastic way to warm up your joints and muscles. In turn, this can help you avoid injury and improve performance during your workout.
As YEG Fitness explained in a 2018 article, “Is It Bad to Soak in a Hot Tub Before Exercise?” a hot tub’s water passively raises your body temperature and warms your muscles, meaning you can start to stretch your muscles without the risk of injury that comes with stretching cold muscles.
After exercising, a hot tub session can help you:
Relieve Joint Pain
Once you’ve finished your workout, you may notice some lingering joint pain, especially if you’ve been engaging in a high-impact exercise like running or CrossFit.
Fortunately, this is one area where hot tubs excel: According to an article from the Foundation, “Warm Water Works Wonders on Pain,” immersing your body in warm water can effectively relieve joint pain.
That’s because soaking in warm water reduces the amount of gravity your joints have to bear, offers 360-degree support, decreases inflammation and stimulates blood flow.
This applies to all kinds of joint pain, whether it results from a medical condition like arthritis or an intense workout session.
Soothe Sore Muscles
There are few sensations that feel better than immersing your sore, aching muscles in a hot tub.
One reason for this is that warm water promotes blood flow and allows muscles to relax: According to a 2017 article titled “Heat and cold treatment: Which is best?” in Medical News Today, heat therapy is usually more effective than cold at treating muscle pain.
So, if your muscles are feeling tight and overworked after exercise, a soak in the hot tub could be just what you need.
Plus, most hot tubs are equipped with massaging jets, which are usually placed to target specific muscle groups like the neck, shoulders, back, calves and feet.
The massaging pressure of these jets can effectively knead out any tightness or knots your muscles are experiencing after a workout.
Although hot tubs may be known as a place to relax and socialize, they come with a wealth of physical and mental benefits when used either before or after exercise.
So, be sure to turn your hot tub on in time for your next workout — you’ll be glad you did.