Monday, October 11, 2010

Hot or Cold Bath for Post-Workout Recovery?

The gym that I go to has a nice jacuzzi room. After a hard workout, I used to go in the jacuzzi and relax for 5-10 minutes - enjoying the hot jets of water massaging and soothing my sore muscles. I would feel pretty refreshed after I came out of the jacuzzi.

I would have probably continued doing this as a post-workout recovery method. But luckily, while researching on post-workout recovery, I discovered that I was not doing my body any favors by jumping into a hot-water jacuzzi.

Here's why it's not a good idea.

After a long run or any tough workout, your joints and muscles are inflamed. If you put heat on them, the blood flow to those areas will increase, which can make them even more inflamed. In addition, you may already be slightly dehydrated post-run, and the heat from the hot tub may dehydrate you even more. - Source.

Your body is basically in overdrive after a hard work-out. What you need to do is shut it down - similar to how you shut off the engine of your car after a long drive. The best way to do this is to have an ice bath which will shut off (or at least slow down) your metabolism and allow your body to recover. 

Since our gym doesn't have ice baths, I guess I will have to go for the next best thing. A cold shower.

But what about that lovely jacuzzi? Perhaps on my non-workout days.

1 comment:

  1. I'll start working out as soon as i become ok.