Is Soaking in a Hot Tub Before and After running good for sore muscles?
Studies have shown that both heat and cold therapy can promote healing and prevent muscle damage following running. Your home spa offers the most immersive therapeutic opportunity available, especially now that you have the option to set your spa as a hot tub or a revolutionary cold tub.
Here are some tips for you:
Before you exercise, have a 10–20-minute hot tub soak. This helps get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Then, be sure to spend at least 10 minutes stretching out those warm muscles before you start your workout. (You could even do some gentle stretches while you’re in the hot tub.)
After you run, let your muscles and your heart rate cool down. Do a gentle walk. Then, take advantage of a hot tub session to help your mind and body relax and to stimulate the healing and recovery process.
Your hot tub can support you before and after your workouts if you follow these simple guidelines. Remember that one of the most important tips is to always be aware and stay in touch with your body’s cues.
If, for example, you’re feeling sore and inflamed right after a hard workout, give your body a bit of time to cool down before your soothing hot tub soak.
In some cases, it’s best to wait a day or two if an unusually intense workout leaves your muscles significantly inflamed. But in the days following that intense workout, your home spa can be just the thing to relax you when your muscles are tight and sore.
You are your body’s own best advocate. Consider that the time in between workouts is just as valuable as the workouts themselves. When we push ourselves to intentionally stress our muscles through exercise, we can’t avoid the necessary period of healing and regeneration—that’s what actually results in stronger muscles and an overall healthier body!
Your hot tub can be one of your best allies in the quest for personal fitness when you leverage it with awareness and intention.
This schedule has been shown to work:
Taking a short soak in your hot tub before you exercise can warm you up, and make your run feel more comfortable.
On a cold day it’s even more pronounced because the blood flow to your legs increases. Since you’re already warm and perspiring from soaking, make sure to stay hydrated.
Right afterwards. This is when you want to cool down. Your muscles are now inflamed. To limit blood flow and make them feel better, it’s time to apply ice or cold water. Conversely, adding heat will keep them inflamed, and continued sweating will further dehydrate you.
A day or two later. It takes a while to achieve the maximum benefits from soaking in your hot tub after you run…36 to 48 hours.
Inflammation is no longer an issue, and your damaged muscles can start to heal as a result of the increased blood flow. Now you’ll be able to enjoy the “other” relaxing benefits of soaking, like weightlessly floating, and rejoicing about your latest achievement.
Don’t forget…icing comes first…hot tubbing comes later.
posted Tuesday July 30th