Are Hot Tubs Good for Muscle Recovery?

how to use your hot tub for muscle recovery

We live in a stressful, fast-paced world that can be extremely tough on our bodies. Whether you’re spending most of your day in an office chair or are working out frequently, having sore muscles can be frustrating. Finding the time to slow down, relax, and recover can be tricky, but we’ve got some good news for you – your hot tub might be the key to muscle recovery and tension reduction.

Soaking in a hot tub pre or post-workout – or whenever your muscles are sore – can do wonders for easing pain and rejuvenating muscles. A few minutes a day can help heal your body and prepare you for your next workout.

Are hot tubs good for muscle recovery?

When exercising, your muscles become worn out and stressed. Without properly stretching or finding ways to ease the tension, you’re more prone to injury and discomfort. Soaking in your hot tub can speed up recovery and benefit your entire body through muscle recovery.

Here are some of the top reasons why hot tubs are good for muscle recovery.

Hot tubs promote circulation

After a tough workout, it’s important to maintain strong blood flow for the quickest recovery time. Your muscles need to receive oxygen and essential nutrients while getting rid of metabolic waste products, and circulation helps with that process. Hot tubs improve circulation through the combination of jets and hot water dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Hot tubs relax muscles

It’s normal for muscles to feel sore and tight post-workout – especially the following day. Hydrotherapy in your hot tub will help you loosen up and stimulate the body’s natural endorphin production. It’s a relaxing experience both mentally and physically, providing instant relief to sore muscles.

Hot tubs reduce the lactic acid build-up

Exercising causes a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, which can cause discomfort and fatigue. Taking a few minutes to relax in your hot tub promotes lactic acid removal from your muscles by opening blood vessels and getting to the source of the pain. Reduce discomfort and soreness with a quick hot tub soak.

Hot tubs relieve joint stress

Relaxing in the waters of your hot tub is beneficial for your joints, especially if you’re participating in a high-impact physical activity like running. It’s also particularly beneficial for anyone recovering from an injury, whether exercise-related or other. The water reduces the impact of gravity on the body, easing the stress put on joints.

Hot tubs reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep

Stress relief and improved sleep quality are just a few of the many benefits of relaxing in your hot tub. Hot tubs are known to promote stress relief – taking a few minutes to yourself to time out from the rest of the world in your hot tub can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Physical activity requires strong mental well-being, so taking this time for yourself is extremely important.

The warm water and massaging jets stimulate relaxation, decrease cortisol levels, and help you unwind, reducing anxiety, enhancing the quality of your sleep, and giving your muscles a chance to recuperate while you’re sleeping.

Hot tubs can even boost your immune system, which is extremely important for athletes – or anyone looking to stay healthy.

When is the best time to use your hot tub for muscle recovery?

The best time to soak in your hot tub is 24-48 hours after exercising to let your muscles rest and stabilize after the inflammation of working out. Refrain from using your hot tub right after working out for the most beneficial muscle recovery. Remember to monitor the amount of time you spend in your hot tub so that you’re not overdoing it.

If you’re looking for a lighter workout or are taking a day to stretch and recover, consider exercising in your hot tub. There are plenty of exercises that you can perform from your hot tub that are no-impact, easy on joints, and come with the added benefits of muscle recovery and hydrotherapy. You could even try yoga in your hot tub!

Hot tub muscle recovery best practices

After your soak, it might be beneficial to jump into a cold shower to close open blood vessels, which further improves energy levels and increases overall comfort post-workout. You could also turn the temperature of your hot tub down so that your body can adapt to the change in temperature from inside the tub to the air temperature.

Soaking in your hot tub before a workout can also be beneficial. If you have the time, taking a quick pre-workout soak will help relax stiff muscles and prepare you for physical activity.

Effective hot tub stretches

If you’re looking to elevate your recovery experience, try stretching in your hot tub to enhance muscle relaxation. Here are a few of our favorite hot tub stretches:

Knee hug exercise

Try out the knee hug exercise to get a static stretch in your thighs. To get the most out of this exercise, simply stand in your hot tub and pull your knee up close to your chest, hugging your arms around your leg. Switch legs as feels comfortable. This static knee hug exercise combined with the relaxing elements of the hot water will double your muscle relief.

Walk or jog in place

To get those muscles loose, try walking or jogging in place in the hot water of your tub. While this might seem less intriguing given you’ve just completed a difficult exercise, this is an effective way to relieve sore muscles and increase blood flow.

Flutter kicks

Similar to walking in place, if you’re looking for a stretch that will increase circulation, try sitting in or on the edge of your hot tub and gently flutter your legs through the water. This is a mini-exercise that can help soothe sore muscles.

There are many other effective, simple stretches you can do in your hot tub to aid muscle recovery.

Get on the road to muscle recovery with Cal Spas

Muscle recovery doesn’t have to be a long, painful process. At Cal Spas, we’ll help you find a hot tub perfect for your needs, from working out to stress relief to hydrotherapy. Reach out or visit us in stores to find the right hot tub for your lifestyle.