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Cold Plunge vs The Hot Tub

When taking your recovery to the next level, many have turned to hydrotherapy methods that provide many different benefits depending on the modality. Cold plunges and hot tubs have different benefits and opposite effects on the body but have been used for hundreds of years as a method to recover and regenerate the body. Cold water immersion, or "cold plunges" is a practice of immersing oneself in cold water for a short period of time, typically between 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Hot tubs on the other hand are used as a way to relax and relieve stress from a long day. Ideally, you'd aim to spend a good 15-30 minutes and depending on temperature extend your stay up to 45 minutes for optimal recovery benefits. A quick dip in either can help you manage muscle aches, lower your blood pressure, and even improve your night's sleep. This practice (hot & cold tub plunges) is believed to have several benefits. Below shared a few of these benefits to help you choose what form of hydrotherapy is right for you, and the best times to use them.

Cold tubs have definitely made their way back into the mainstream, and for good reason, it's an undefeated practice when looking to recover faster from stresses accumulated by the body during tough bouts of physical exercise or work. Cold tubs have shown the ability to whip your body back into shape, leaving you feeling refreshed and recuperated, allowing you to get back to action sooner

than later.

Cold plunge benefits:

  • Reduced inflammation: Cold water immersion can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for athletes or people with chronic pain or injuries.

  • Increased circulation: Cold water immersion can also increase blood flow and circulation in the body, which can promote healing and recovery.

  • Boosted immune system: Some research suggests that regular cold water immersion can stimulate the immune system, potentially helping to fight off illness and disease.

  • Improved mental health: Cold water immersion has been shown to release endorphins, and reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Increased energy: Cold water immersion has been shown to boost energy levels by increasing the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.

  • Improved mood: As listed above, cold water immersion has been found to be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety (improve mental health), and that can also lead to improved overall mood and mental clarity as well.

Hot tubs, on the other hand, have been used for many different past times or even good times some would say, in your wellness journey. Immersing yourself in a nice warm bath has always been one of the best ways to end the night after a stressful day or long bout at the gym or on the playing field. For decades, hot tubs have been like the chicken noodle soup to the overworked, tired achy body.

Hot tub benefits:

  • Relaxed muscles: Soaking in a hot tub can help to relax muscles and ease tension, which can be especially beneficial for people with muscle pain or stiffness.

  • Improved sleep: The warm water and jets in a hot tub can help to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Similar to cold water immersion, soaking in a hot tub can release endorphins and promote feelings of relaxation, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Pain relief: The heat from the hot tub can help to relieve pain, especially in people with arthritis or other joint conditions.

Ultimately, the choice between a cold plunge and a hot tub will depend on personal preference and individual health needs. Both can be beneficial for the body, and some people may even choose to alternate between the two to get the benefits of both. It's important to note that cold water immersion may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with certain medical conditions. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before trying a cold plunge, but if able...damn it's nice!

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