Hydrotherapy for athletes
You know the feeling. You really pushed yourself yesterday in your workout, went for just one more rep, added just five more pounds, and you’re feeling it today. Maybe you ran just one more mile, or did just one more flight of stairs, and today, your legs are jelly.
While some trainers put athletes in cold tubs immediately after a workout – it’s been proposed that the cold of an ice bath keeps swelling at bay – next-day soreness and discomfort can often be soaked away in a hot tub.
How does a hot soak help?
First, the heat of a dip in your spa can help improve blood flow, loosening tight muscles. The same is true if a muscle is injured from over-use. A warm soak can help improve blood flow to the injured tissue, delivering healing nutrients and relieving strain.
Second, the targeted jets in well-designed tub can deliver accurate, pin-point massage to your affected areas, helping you regain range of motion and reducing stiffness.
Hot water hydrotherapy can be an effective way to alleviate cramps, and your increased muscle elasticity can make it easier to stretch. For this reason, it can be beneficial to spend some time in your hot tub before you work out.
If you have both available, some trainers recommend alternate between plunges in cold water and hot water, a practice called contrast bath therapy. The practice originated in the late 1990s, and is supposed to reduce muscle swelling and generate more effective recovery from hard workouts.
Whether you’re a serious competitor or a weekend warrior, taking time for a post-workout hot tub dip has another critical benefit: spending time in your hot tub calms your mind. This can make it easier to relax after an intense workout, to rest more effectively, and to have a little fun after working so hard.
Wondering how a good soak could help you? Come visit our mood room to find out.