Cold Plunge Pools
A cold plunge pool can provide many benefits if utilized wisely. It includes improving circulation, helping speed up recovery time after an injury, and offering a refreshing relief from the heat. The cold water temperature helps minimize muscle inflammation, pain, and soreness to quickly facilitate post-workout recovery. Furthermore, it can rejuvenate the skin because cold water shrinks pores, and it doesn’t dry up the skin.
Cold water immersion improves circulation because the body reacts with temperature by pumping blood more efficiently. Blood helps bring more oxygen to the muscles and tissues, which can help relieve swelling.
Cold water immersion should be performed in 10 -15ºC water for 5-10 min duration. Extended exposure to cold water can increase chances of hypothermia and frostbite.
Hot Plunge Pools
Hot plunge pools can have significant health benefits, especially if you use it regularly. Immersing the body in hot water can help relieve tension, stress and muscle and joint pain. The temperature of the water also helps to increase circulation throughout the body. This is most beneficial for people suffering from muscle and joint pains. The circulatory system functions better in warm water and can more effectively supply the joints with a balanced flow of oxygen and nutrients.
It is advisable to use the hot plunge pool before working out. It will help to increase blood flow, improve flexibility and loosen muscles. Increased flexibility leads to less muscle strain and a more productive workout session.
Contrast Hydrotherapy – Using Hot & Cold Pools
Hydrotherapy is a part of medicine and alternative medicine that involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment. “Contrast Hydrotherapy” is alternating between immersion in hot & cold pools. It can help to heal injuries, reduce fatigue, enhance various bodily functions and reduce any inflammation. This technique may also increase the elasticity of the ligaments, which may help those with arthritis improve their range of motion. However, it should not be done to an acute injury. Treatment should not be given until 48 hours have passed since the injury.
Muscles compress in cold water and blood vessels expand in a hot water. A cold plunge controls joint inflammation and enhances muscle recovery, while a hot plunge helps muscles to relax. Blood flow in the immersed area increases when you immediately move from a cold water pool to a hot water pool. Because heat dilates the blood vessels and cold causes them to get smaller, thereby accelerating recovery in the muscles and decrease the long-term effects of muscle soreness from strenuous exercise. Anyone participating in sport and physical activity can use this as an effective recovery technique.
Contrast hydrotherapy involves alternating every 1-2 min between hot and cold water, but don’t spend more time in the hot than cold. Ideally, perform cold water immersion or contrast hydrotherapy within 30 min post-exercise.
Hot or Cold Water Therapy or Contrast Therapy can be helpful, depending on your health condition, fitness level and goals. We recommend that you check with a professional before trying this or other methods for the treatment or post-workout recovery.