By Adam England/Aug. 26, 2021 12:01 pm EDT
After a rough day, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more appealing than unwinding in a hot tub or Jacuzzi for a while. A long soak in the hot water while doing absolutely nothing — what could be better? There’s a reason why millions of us just in the U.S. alone have a hot tub at home, after all (via Power Per Square Foot).
However, a session in the hot tub shouldn’t always be your answer to the question of how to relax. By all means, go ahead after you’ve spent the day at work or driving the family around, but sometimes — like during pregnancy — it’s actually something to avoid. Instead, find an alternate method of relaxation, and leave the Jacuzzi for another day. Here’s what you shouldn’t do right before getting into a hot tub, either public or your own, no matter how tempting it might be.
It’s not a great idea to get into a hot tub after an intense workout. Yup, as much as it might seem ideal after a session of exercise, it’s something to avoid. According to injury-prevention expert and athletic trainer Liz Letchford, who spoke to PopSugar, “Being in a warm environment or otherwise applying heat to your body after exercise can decrease your body’s ability to attain parasympathetic activation in order to recover effectively … Your body gets stronger during recovery, not during the workout, so it is very important to optimize your recovery time.”
However, she explains that there is an exception. If you’re training for a race that’s in the middle of summer, a soak in hot water can be helpful in terms of getting your body used to the heat. Not only that, but a cold soak in the bath isn’t necessarily going to be much better — research on the effects of cold water after exercise has produced a range of different findings, but it’s thought that it might reduce the effects of the exercise (via PopSugar).
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