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Is a Hot Tub Good After a Workout?

Many people understand the luxuriousness of spending time in the warm swirling waters of a hot tub.  It can be a relaxing break whether experienced alone or with family and friends.  But how can a hot tub be used for athletic purposes?  Can a hot tub be used before an exercise session?  Is a hot tub good after a workout?  To answer these questions and more we’ve come up with an article that goes over how a hot tub can be used as part of a fitness program.

Using A Hot Tub to Warm Up

Most athletes understand the importance of warming up before a workout, training session or a game.  But not as many know that a hot tub can lend a supporting role when it comes to warming up.  When you consider the fact that the warm waters and massaging jets of a hot tub can promote blood circulation, loosen muscles and increase flexibility, it’s easy to see that a pre workout warm up and time spent in the hot tub can achieve the same results.  For this reason, a hot tub soak combined with some basic exercises can be part of an excellent warm up routine.  The efficacy of such a program is increased even more in cold weather.

Cool Down Before Using A Hot Tub

Although it may seem like a good idea to jump into a hot tub after an intense workout, this could actually be a dangerous practice.  Strenuous workouts increase the core body temperature, the heart rate and the breathing rate while dilating the blood vessels.  When combined with the warm water of the hot tub, this can easily lead to overheating which could result in dizziness, nausea, heat stroke and possibly even a heart attack.  For this reason, it’s important to practice a cooldown procedure after a heavy workout and before using a hot tub.  Some basic stretching, walking and light cardio combined with a cool shower and drinking water can expedite the cool down process.  Try to wait for at least an hour after a heavy workout to use the hot tub.

Relieving Sore Muscles

Sore muscles are the result of inflammation.  Heat from the hot tub water will actually intensify this phenomenon, so it’s a good idea to allow the muscles to rest before spending time in a hot tub.  For the best results, consider waiting a day or two to use the hot tub after an especially intense workout.  After the inflammation is allowed to dissipate the increased blood flow caused by the warm water will be more effective in helping repair overworked muscles.

Hot Tub Use and Water Temperature

Most North American hot tubs won’t heat the water over the recommended limit of 40 degrees Celsius.  This was mandated in the late 70s by the American Consumer Products Safety Commission.  It was found that water over this temperature greatly increased the chances of heat stroke.  And although, your hot tub should be regulated, it’s good to check the temperature with a thermometer to make sure.  As for the amount of time you spend in a hot tub, you should limit it to under 20 minutes per session.  Paying attention to signals sent by your own body is important.  If you feel yourself getting lightheaded, dizzy or start to feel nauseous, get out of the hot tub immediately and allow yourself to cool down.  Alcohol shouldn’t be used when you’re in a hot tub as it will also dilate your blood vessels which can result in an increase in body temperature and possible heat exhaustion.

Now that you know the guidelines for working out and using a hot tub, download a hot tub buyer’s guide to learn more about our models.