Gyms and spas can have hot tubs and jacuzzi facilities for you to use, and although it may seem like a good idea to soak in one of these after working hard in the gym or after going for a quick run if you have your own at home, it probably really isn’t great for your body, no matter how achy your muscles may be.
If you’ve ever been in a hot bath or shower before and felt light headed, this is because your body is trying to cool your body down as the temperature is too hot. You can run the risk of this lightheadedness and fainting if you enter a hot tub after you’ve exercised. Even if you’ve been out exercising in the cold weather, your internal temperature will still be high and so it’s best to stay away as soon as you’ve finished a workout.
The reason for this is because your body has been working hard, your muscles have been overworked and when you stop exercising, your heart and body carry on working to try and get your body temperature back down to being normal again. Think of it as trying to cool down a hot spoon by running it under a hot tap, your heart works overtime on trying to keep your body cool, and you aren’t helping it do that. This can cause chest pains and lightheadedness as your body is carrying on as if you are still exercising.
I’m not telling you to not use your hot tub after you’ve had a workout, many people, including myself, loved to get in to try and relax all the muscles that had been worked out. It’s best for you and your body though if you wait at least half an hour before getting into your hot tub as it has given your body time to start to cool down and your heart to return to a normal rate. Even then, keeping your upper body and chest out of the water will help you from overheating.
Exercising can really dehydrate us, and so does sitting it hot water. So using your tub straight after you’ve exercised again, can cause lightheadedness especially if you haven’t taken enough steps to replace the liquids in your body after your workout. The water raises our temperature and makes us sweat, again making us lose liquid so rehydrating in the cool down before getting into the tub can really help.
The reason why using your hot tub for pain relief of your overworked muscles is because the muscles themselves are warm and are inflamed. If you’ve pulled a muscle or have a sprain, the muscle will be more swollen and although hot temperatures seem like a good idea to soothe them, it instead increases the blood flow to them, meaning that they will continue to swell and become more painful, it’s best to keep cold compresses or have a cool shower to help keep the swelling down.
So although it isn’t a great idea to get into your tub straight away, just waiting a short while for your body to return to normal can really make the difference and make you feel more relaxed without worrying about dizziness.
You don’t have to give up your post-exercise hot tub routine if you’re on a holiday. Hot tub holidays UK are proving to be really popular. If you’re a heavy walker, there are lots of options for a lodge with a hot tub in the countryside, and what better way to soak off a 20-mile walk than a soak in a hot tub. You can find a full guide to hot tub holidays UK here: