Soaking in a hot tub is a great addition to your overall exercise plan. Massaging jets relax and loosen skin and muscles, while the warm water improves circulation, decreases blood pressure, and stimulates healing. You may already know about these benefits but are wondering whether it is better to soak before or after your workouts? Here are the benefits of soaking at different times throughout your daily and weekly workout schedule.
Hot Tub Soak Before Exercise
A pre-workout soak in your hot tub is a great way to prepare for your workout. A quick soak of just 10-20 minutes will warm up your body (especially beneficial on colder days) loosen your muscles (crucial for preventing injury), and get your blood flowing. A hot tub soak before your workout is also beneficial if you struggle with motivation or with sustaining energy late in your workout.
Hot Tub Soak Immediately After Exercise
Post-workout hot tub soaks can help you recover and feel rejuvenated the next day, but it is important to time them right. Slipping into the hot tub as soon as you finish exercising may sound tempting, but it is not recommended. At this time your body temperature is already raised, your muscles are inflamed, and you may be dehydrated from sweating—sitting in a hot tub directly after working out will make these symptoms worse. Drink some water and wait until your heart rate has returned to normal and your muscles have cooled down a bit. Once you have reached this stage in your exercise recovery, the hot tub’s heat therapy will promote deeper relaxation and stretching.
Hot Tub Soak 24-48 Hours After Exercise
During exercise, muscle fibers are broken down, torn apart, and rebuilt in a stronger state. 24 to 48 hours after a workout is the optimum time to soak in a hot tub to stimulate your “damaged” muscles. The hot water will increase your blood flow, moving more oxygen through your blood, helping repair tissues at a faster rate.
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