Jumping From Hot Tub to Swimming Pool: Is it Good or Bad for You? Just about everyone who has both a hot tub and a swimming pool has decided to follow a long soak in the tub by a dip in the pool (or vice versa).
Some may do it because the hot tub gets too hot, while others may do it to make their pool water feel a little bit cooler. But a question arises for many when it comes to moving from hot to cold in such a manner: is it safe?
When practiced properly, immersion between hot and cold water (commonly referred to as contrast bath therapy) is perfectly safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether contrast bath therapy is right for you.
Before we begin, let’s address the elephant in the room: your pool and hot tub water should both be perfectly balanced before you step foot in either one. The best way to know that your water is balanced is by using a pHin smart water monitor that continuously monitors your pool and hot tub water and lets you know when it’s time to add chemicals.
Now, onto contrast therapy:
Benefits of Moving Between Hot and Cold Water
One of the main benefits associated with contrast bath therapy is improved circulation. Hot water causes vasodilation (relaxation of blood vessels), while cold water causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), which increases local blood circulation.
In addition to improving circulation, contrast bath therapy can act much like a pump for the lymph system. Similar to blood vessels, lymph vessels relax in response to heat and contract in response to cold. Alternating between hot and cold can act as a makeshift pump for your lymph system, having a positive impact on the inflammation process, and helping your body heal damaged tissue.
Contrast therapy can also reduce muscle tightness and soreness, helping to prevent strained or pulled muscles. It is important to note that this process should always end with you in the colder water, as heat can induce the body’s inflammatory response.
When to Practice Contrast Therapy
There are certain times that contrast therapy has been found to be more effective or offer more pronounced benefits. In the morning (or whenever you wake up), it can jump-start your body, kicking circulation into gear and prepping you for the day ahead. Many people find that they are more alert when they start their day with contrast bath therapy.
It can also be beneficial before exercise, as it typically increases your muscle temperature and heart rate, leaving you less prone to strain and injury. If you find yourself experiencing any muscle injuries or tightness, contrast bath therapy can help with that as well.
In addition to being physically beneficial, it has also proved to have positive effects on the mind, as contrast therapy can decrease stress levels.
When Not to Practice Contrast Therapy
While contrast therapy provides many benefits, it is important to realize that there are certain circumstances in which you should avoid the practice.
First, if you have serious health issues, you should consult with your doctor before practicing any type of therapy, including hot and cold immersion. This is especially true if you have health problems involving the circulatory system, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or kidney problems. Your body may lack the ability to react well to the rapidly changing temperatures inherent in contrast therapy.
For any injuries that are swollen or bruised, you should avoid contrast therapy for at least 72 hours following the injury. Hot water often makes injuries involving swelling or bruising worse, as it typically causes greater swelling. Finally, never practice contrast therapy at any time during pregnancy, due to the extreme and rapid temperature changes.
To keep the water in your pool or hot tub balanced year-round, consider a pHin smart monitor. This device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool and hot tub balanced and healthy.