There was a time when fitness was restricted to groups with very specific goals – to lose weight, to gain muscle, or to perform as a professional athlete. But today the benefits of fitness are being enjoyed by more people than ever, because fitness is now recognised as being critical to general health and wellbeing.
The more complete the fitness routine, the more complete the health benefits. By combining cardio, core and strength training with other forms of fitness, you can achieve the best overall result.
But as many everyday athletes will tell you, some forms of exercise are less fun and more painful than others. Post-workout soreness and discomfort can lead many to abandon certain exercises in favour of those that they enjoy, which in turn leads to a less holistic and less beneficial fitness routine.
It doesn't have to be this way.
What are the benefits of hot and cold water immersion?
It’s long been known that warm water is soothing and relaxing, and that cold water is invigorating and healing. But alternately immersing yourself in hot water and cold water, otherwise known as contrast bath therapy, could bring a set of benefits all its own.
By eliciting particular physiological responses, such as constricting then dilating blood vessels and producing endorphins, contrast bath therapy has been shown to offer a number of benefits, such as reducing fatigue, DOMS, lactic acid build-up and swelling, which makes it a popular therapy for both amateur and professional athletes.
And with the help of a Hot Spring spa pool fitted with a CoolZone System, you can enjoy the perks of contrast bath therapy right in your own home.
Hot water therapy soothes muscles
Soaking in the warm waters of a spa pool while being gently massaged by powerful jets is an inherently relaxing and rejuvenating experience. And there’s plenty of hard science as to why.
As we describe in this article, immersing yourself in the warm waters of a spa pool triggers a number of physiological responses. Blood vessels widen, heart activity increases, and arteries become less stiff, all of which helps more nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to flow around your body, improving both the performance and the recovery of soft tissues.
Whatever your aim as an everyday athlete, from gaining strength, to losing weight, to shaving some time off your personal best, hot water therapy can offer real assistance and provide real relief.
Cold water spa therapy to help performance and muscle recovery
The results of scientific investigations into whether cold water helps athletic performance and muscle recovery are mixed. While some research has concluded that there isn’t enough human data to support the argument that cold water immersion helps with muscle recovery on a cellular level, other research suggests that cold water therapy reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS): the days-long ache that results from new or particularly strenuous activity.
A diminished perception of pain after working out may help you maintain or even improve your performance by helping you to get back on the horse, so to speak. It’s always wise, however, to talk to your doctor before starting a new workout program.
Take advantage of both hot and cold water therapy
Hot and cold water therapy, combined with the benefits of a spa pool's massaging jets, can give an everyday athlete the edge you’re looking for, whether that allows you to get off on the right foot with a new workout routine or take your performance to the next level.
Hot Spring’s CoolZone™ spa pool cooling system offers versatile spa water temperature control to compliment every style and level of workout. The system allows you to cool spa water to as low as 15C and heat it back up to as high as 40C in just a few hours. By alternating between hot and cold water soaks – the contrast bath therapy mentioned above – you can gain access to a number of documented benefits, including reduced DOMS, reduced fatigue and reduced swelling around tired or injured soft tissues.
Our CoolZone technology can also maximise your spa use, making the water as inviting in the heat of summer as it is in the depths of winter!
The hardest part of a workout is often the start – that first push up, first crunch or first step of a run. But if you push through the soreness and the stiff muscles after each routine and take advantage of your spa pool, you might find that your least loved exercises become as enjoyable as your favourites.
Enjoying the full benefits of both hot and cold water spa therapy can help you stick to your fitness plan, stay motivated, and make real progress toward your goals.