Both professional and “weekend” athletes can use their hot tubs to aid in repairing sore muscles and injuries. Neck and back pain, sports injuries, muscle pulls, spasms and soreness are often eased simply by a quick dip in your hot tub.
Your hot tub can also be used as preventive medicine. Water’s therapeutic powers lie in its ability to alter the body’s blood flow. According to an article in Tennis Magazine, “When you immerse yourself in the hot water of a whirlpool, the temperature of your skin and muscles rise, causing blood vessels to dilate and thus increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. Turn on the whirlpool jets and the pulsating water massages the skin, increasing blood flow even more. The result? Your skin and muscles loosen and relax from the increased blood circulation.”
You can improve your athletic performance by using your hot tub both before and after you exercise:
Before You Exercise. Soaking in a hot tub before exercising relaxes your body and loosens muscles, making exercise easier and reducing the risk of injury. A pre-exercise soak will also help improve performance. In fact, some golfers swear it has actually taken a couple of strokes off their game.
After You Exercise. Soaking in a hot tub after exercising is a great way to wind down and relax your muscles. The hot, swirling water embraces you . . . massaging your neck, shoulders, arms, back, thighs, calves, and feet. But most importantly, hot tub use after you exercise will greatly reduce or even eliminate the stiffness typically felt the next day.
Important Note. If an injury occurs, it is essential to apply ice to the swollen area first. Never get into a hot tub when you have swelling! Allow ample time for the swelling to reduce before soaking in your hot tub. The warm, circulating water will speed healing to any damaged tissue as well as bringing much-needed nutrients to the problem area.