Many people enjoy using a hot tub, whether they are on holiday, at home or at a spa, they are used for relaxation purposes all over the world. For an athlete, however, a hot tub has a very different purpose, and depending on how they are used, it can have a huge range of benefits. As an athlete, you likely already know about keeping a good diet, sticking to a fitness regime, using visualization techniques and more, but one thing you may not have considered is the benefits of hydrotherapy.
Using a hot tub has been shown to provide benefits that relate to recovery after strenuous exercise, plus it can also have a positive effect when used before taking part in exercise. Hydrotherapy has been shown to help with intense acceleration, strength, endurance and power, therefore are regularly used by an athlete as part of their overall routine. This is because the hot water treatment can eliminate plasma lactate concentration, minimize any negative side effects that are related to regular training, can treat acute pain and inflammation of the body and much more. It can also help treat and heal a number of common sports injuries.
The benefits depend on when the hot tub treatment is used. For example, the effects will be very different if they are used pre-workout than if they were used post-workout. Even something as simple as having a 10-minute dip in the pool can do wonders, and you are likely to be pleasantly surprised about the results.
A detailed study was conducted in 2008 on this matter, and the results show that those that have a dip in warm water before taking part in exercise may reduce the negative impacts of working out regularly, especially if you have been noticing any negative impacts that these workouts have been having on your performance. Having this immersion beforehand could make your workout more of a positive thing rather than a negative one.
The warm water can loosen up your muscles before a workout, and this, in turn, will make it easier for you to exercise in general, reducing your chances of suffering an injury. When your muscles are loose and ready, then both your speed and agility has the potential to increase.
In addition to being used before a workout, having a soak after working out has also been proven to have a range of benefits. Contrast water immersion is one of the treatments that have been shown to be the most beneficial. This type of treatment involves switching between hot and cold water at specific time interviews. It has been proved to accelerate the recovery from intense exercise for both genders for a range of sporting activities. It can also result in lighter muscles, can reduce their tightness and can hasten blood lactate clearance, which can have a positive effect on your body.
The results have also shown that can also be used for mental recovery, making you feel fresh and ready to do it all again the next day. By giving your mind time to refresh and relax a little can give you the strength to carry on with your training or workout program, even if you are feeling tired.
Most athletes will suffer from soreness and stiffness at some point in their lives, and usually, this will occur the day after exercising. If you are suffering from this stiffness, a soak in a hot tub can help the next day. It will help your blood vessels to dilate or expand, which in turn will increase the blood flow to the muscles and skin, easing and preventing the symptoms.
For athletes that work out later in the day, insomnia can be an issue. Because of all the physical exercise, your mind and body are very awake, making it harder to switch off when the time comes to go to sleep. Soaking in a hot tub before going to bed can make it easier to fall asleep or even just relax.
One of the most important tips is to always be aware and stay in touch with your body’s cues. For example, if your body is feeling hot and inflamed right after a workout, then it is worth letting your body cool down a little before getting in the hot tub.
Before using this treatment, it is always worth consulting a medical professional or a physician to see if it is the right treatment for you. Your doctor can help to design and health and workout routine that works best for your needs and your body.
About the Author
Scott Bland has been in the leisure industry for nearly 20 years. As a sales manager in the leisure industry he knows hot tubs inside and out. Right now, he works sales while writing about hot tubs, pools and spas on his blog, www.scottbland.ca