As you regularly exercise to improve your health and strength, your body is in a constant state of regeneration. Workouts stress your muscles and joints, as well as your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. But there are ways to support and ease that stress so you can relax and avoid getting discouraged by soreness or exhaustion. Enjoying a thriving, active lifestyle means finding a productive balance between exertion and recovery.
Soaking in your home spa helps to find that perfect balance in a single, relaxing activity. A 20-minute soak can motivate and energize you before a workout, and relax you and promote recovery after a workout. Weaving a soak into your exercise regime can make reaching your goals more fun, too. Whether you aim for a competitive edge, want a therapeutic approach to weight loss, or strive for an overall active and healthy lifestyle, your hot tub can play an important role before and after your workouts.
How Do Frequent Hot Tub Soaks Enhance Your Exercise?
Hydrotherapy delivers a combination of great benefits. Let’s look at the benefits that specifically relate to exercise, including preparation in the hot tub before a workout and recovery after a workout. Hot tub hydrotherapy does the following:
- Increases Circulation. As you exercise, you stress your body in the process. So, you need healthy blood flow working for you to bring oxygen to your muscles. Warm water immersion improves circulation by dilating blood vessels as it decreases blood pressure. Getting in the hot tub before you exercise can kick this important function into gear, so you’ll be warmed up and ready for your workout.
- Supports Deep and Gentle Stretching. Stretching before your workout decreases your risk of injury, and stretching after helps to lengthen and relax stressed muscles and promote recovery. As you stretch in your hot tub, buoyancy takes some of the gravitational pressure off of your muscles and joints, and the warmth and pressure of the water help to deepen your stretches.
The following video demonstrates how to stretch your legs in the spa water. It’s just one of many videos that show how to correctly stretch your body in your home spa.
- Promotes Focus and Motivation. Soaking in a hot tub allows you to enhance your exercise with greater mind-body connection. It helps you slow down and gain better awareness of your body, decrease anxiety, and improve concentration. Moreover, research suggests that relaxation techniques can significantly improve your competitive performance by limiting the distractions brought by stress and anxiety, and by heightening your focus where it matters. A regular hot tub soak before or after working out can help motivate you to accomplish your fitness goals.
- Burns Calories. You’ll be glad to know that soaking in your hot tub counts as passive exercise, because warm water immersion speeds up calorie burn—even while your body is at rest. A great complement to active exercise, a soak also serves to motivate and prepare you for activity. You can start your exercises in the hot tub to warm your body prior to a workout, or use the time in the hot tub as your workout by jogging underwater or practicing spa yoga. Buoyancy and water resistance combined offer a low-impact exercise opportunity when land exercise is too intense for your joints, or when you’re fatigued from workouts and need an active recovery day.
- Relieves Mental, Physical, and Emotional Stress. Soaking in the hot tub before your workout can help you put work-related and other stress behind you, so you can focus on—and get excited about—your wellness routine ahead. A 20-minute soak after your workout can help dissolve muscle and joint stress brought on by exercise. Add to that the effect of endorphins released during your workout and the relaxation gained from a hot tub soak, and you have a recipe for balance in your life.
- Eases Soreness and Promotes Recovery. Soaking in your hot tub after exercise can reduce swelling and inflammation, thanks to the warmth and pressure of the water. Your spa jets take this benefit a step further by offering targeted hydro-massage. Hot Tub Circuit Therapy® is a revolutionary practice designed to give you a deep massage right in your home spa, one muscle group at a time. As you work your way around the hot tub seats, you can target muscles from neck to toe. This stress and tension relief for your muscles stimulates the process of recovery and regeneration to help you relax and more quickly prepare for your next workout.
As Mike, a Caldera® spa owner, explains in the following video, “It’s really a leg up on the competition in terms of competing in sports because I’m able to recover a lot quicker with the Caldera spa.”
When it’s hot outside or after a particularly intense workout, you may instead want to take advantage of cold water therapy. The CoolZone™ system allows you to set your spa water temperature to as low as 60 degrees for a more versatile hydrotherapy soak.
When Should You Use the Hot Tub—Before or After a Workout?
While you’ll experience significant benefits using your hot tub before or after a workout, you’ll see even greater benefits when you soak before and after a workout. Your exercise plan might look something like this:
- 20-minute hot tub soak, including stretches
- 20-minute run
- 5-minute hydration break
- 30-minute strength and conditioning routine
- 10-minute cooldown, stretch, and hydrate
- 20-minute soak for relaxation and jet massage
On days when you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, you may want to choose a hot tub soak only before or after your workout. If you struggle with motivation, warming up, or with sustaining energy late in your workout, soaking in your spa before exercise may be the ideal option. If you experience post-workout soreness, fatigue, or a long recovery time in between workouts, soaking in the hot tub after exercise might be the right choice.
Your home hot tub opens the door to a personal relaxation retreat and is a tool for balance in your active lifestyle. Let your spa help you find what works best for your exercise routines and goals.