Soothing Sore Muscles- The Benefits of a Sizzling Hot Tub

Have you just exercised?

Are you feeling sore?

Sore muscles after physical activity is known as delayed onset muscle soreness or "DOMS" and often occurs when you start a new exercise programme, change your exercise routine, or increase the intensity of your workout.  If you work your muscles harder than they're normally used to, then this causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.

The good news is the soreness will decrease as your muscles get used to the new physical activity, and will become stronger as the muscles recover and build.  

1) Releases tension in one area

Days after your workout, a hot bath will work wonders for your muscle aches!  The heat will penetrate and relax muscles, reducing the risk for muscle-spasms. Surprisingly, when you have muscle soreness in one area, the surrounding areas may tense up from working harder to compensate for the sore muscles, and so a bath can relax the muscles and prepare them for your next workout.

2) Physical and Mental relief

A hot bath also reduces stress levels all over your body-both physical and mental.   Hot water baths induces feelings of comfort and easiness, which allows your mind, and subsequently your body, to relax.  Many studies have shown a big increase in serotonin production (the happiness hormone) after a nice hot tub/bath.  You deserve this after your hard workout!

3)  Helps you sleep better

Melatonin, or the sleeping hormone, is released at night and induces sleep.  Soaking in a hot bath at night will raise your core body temperature, and when you leave the hot water, your body will rapidly cool down, which induces melatonin release quicker.  Coupled with the soothing effects on the muscle, your head will hit the pillow.... and stay there!  A good nights sleep aids muscle recovery greatly too!

4) Burn calories!

It won't burn as many calories as your workout... but every little helps!  A nice hot tub/bath for an hour can burn around 130 calories- or the same as 30 minutes of brisk walking!  This is due to the rise in core body temperature which torches off the calories.  This really is a guilt-free time for you!