Dipping in warm waters relaxes the body and the mind. Long before researchers had looked into the health benefits of warm waters, different cultures had already been reaping the benefits of hot springs.
There are already recommendations to take hot baths or warm up in hot tubs before exercising. Recently though, a study has looked into the effects of hot water immersion after exercising.
Before and after exercising
Soaking in warm water releases tension in the muscles. Having relaxed muscles can help with running and lifting weights and potentially minimises the risk of injuries and strains. A pre-exercise soak can increase body temperature and warm up muscles, much like a regular warm-up. A 10-15 minute soak can increase blood flow to legs and make running, especially on a cold, day more pleasant.
Helping with acclimatisation
A study has looked into how hot water immersion induces heat acclimation in athletes and improves their endurance performance.Athletes sometimes need to perform in places with warmer temperatures. When the body is not acclimatised to the temperature of its new environment, it sweats more, its cardiovascular system is strained, and it experiences more fatigue. The risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke also increases under such conditions. Athletes thus need to acclimatise to the heat to perform optimally.
In the study conducted over a period of six days, athletes were asked to bathe for 40 minutes in hot water (40°C) after they exercised. The experiment reduced the athlete’s at rest and exercise temperatures and their performance on the treadmill improved. The researchers stated that even though the participants bathed for 40 minutes, the benefits could be gained even if people bathed for only 20 minutes.
Soaking in a warm pool before exercise can help the body prepare for the physical stress placed on the body. This, in turn, improves endurance and performance. As the muscle relaxes, the mind can also be put in a state of relaxation.
You can reap the health benefits of a warm pool as well. At Pool Solar and Spa, we provide pool heaters that allow you to set the ideal temperature for your pool. Our systems have a long service life and require minimum maintenance. Call us today for the best pool warming solutions in Perth.