July 6, 2009

Both professional and “weekend” athletes can use a hot tub to help repair sore muscles and start the healing process for injuries. Neck and back pain, sports injuries, muscle pulls, spasms and soreness are often eased simply by a quick dip in the hot tub. Summer is the time when most weekend injuries occur. Even gardening can result in muscle strain and back spasms.  Golf is notorious for injuries-especially to back, wrist and elbows.

Your hot tub can also be used for 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 spa or hot tub, the temperature of your skin and muscles rise, causing blood vessels to dilate which increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. Turn on the jets and let the pulsating water massage the skin, increasing blood flow even more. The result? Your skin and muscles loosen and relax from the increased blood circulation.”

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. You’ll enjoy your workout & sports time more knowing you won’t be sore 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 via blood flow to the problem area.

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.