Should You Soak Before or After You Exercise

You probably know that a soak in the hot tub is good for sore muscles and joints.

We’ve explained about the benefits of hot tub heat therapy and how it increases blood flow, relaxes muscles and stimulates healing.

What we haven’t explained is whether or not you should soak before you exercise or after. Let’s look at that question now.

Hot Tub Soak Before Exercise

Before you exercise, a short hot tub soak can help loosen your muscles and get your blood flowing. Think 10-20 minutes.

Your soak gets your blood flowing, and you’ll be ready to exercise. You might consider stretching your muscles a bit in the hot tub before you get out and start exercising.

Hot and Cold Therapy After Exercise

According to one study, both heat and cold therapy can help you. They both have the ability to promote healing and prevent muscle damage after you exercise.

So, it makes sense that you could use your hot tub to provide heat and cold therapy after you exercise. You could either use your spa cold or turn on the heater to use it hot.

You’ll soon find that hot tub sessions after you exercise help you recover and return to exercise feeling rejuvenated the next day.

The important thing when soaking after exercise is to time it right. Here’s how.

Hot Tubs and Your Sore Muscles

Hot Tub Soak Immediately After Exercise

This is the best time for your cold soak. This limits your blood flow so your inflamed muscles feel better quickly.

Hot Tub Soak Hours After Exercise

The biggest benefit of the hot water soak after exercise comes later. This is when you see the benefits from increasing your blood flow and stimulating healing.

You want to let your muscles and your heart rate cool down before soaking in warm water. Doing this helps you heal and allows your mind and body to relax.

Exercise and Soaking Plan

Take a look at this plan from Hot Spring Spas and remember to consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

Do

Don’t

Keep track of your exercise schedule and allow your body to rest and recover between high-intensity workouts. Taking advantage of healing practices such as heat and cold therapy can support your recovery. Push too hard and neglect your limits.
Hydrate early and often, whether you’re incorporating the hot tub into your routine or not. Plan to drink even more water if you’ll be getting in the hot tub. Underestimate the importance of staying hydrated to support your body’s natural process of sweating during exercise and in the warmth of the hot tub.
Help your muscles loosen up (and prevent injury) with a short hot tub session (10–20 minutes) and stretching before your workout. Dive right into working out when your muscles may still be cool and stiff. Neglecting to at least stretch before a workout puts you at risk of injury.
Do plan to soak in your hot tub after your heart rate has returned to normal and your muscles have cooled down a bit. This heat therapy promotes deeper relaxation and stretching for your now-stronger muscles, offers a well-earned hot tub jet massage, and helps prepare you for the next phase of your fitness journey. Miss out on your hot tub’s incredible benefits.

Final Thoughts

Your hot tub provides a great benefit to you after your workouts, whether you choose to soak before, after or both.

Do pay attention to your body, so you know when the soak provides you the most benefit.

If you had an extra-long workout, and your muscles are particularly sore, wait a day or two before soaking in a hot tub.

Think of your hot tub as your best friends when it comes to your personal fitness and recovery options.

Please consult your doctor when designing a workout routine and hot tub soaking plan.