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Hot Tub vs Ice Bath: Which is Better?

  |   Benefits of Hot Tubs   |   No comment

Hot versus cold therapies are like day and night. They each provide different benefits. When we have chronic pain, we’ll often try nearly anything to find relief from that pain. But is heat or cold better? Does it matter what type of pain or where the pain is located? Could alternating between hot and cold be a benefit to you? There are lots of benefits to using a combination of hot and cold therapies, but it’s not always clear why each one is helpful and what is best for your particular type of pain.

For example, heat relaxes muscles and helps dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow, while icy temperatures help reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels and reducing metabolic activity, which reduces tissue breakdown. Both can be helpful, but the uses are for notably different purposes.


Ice Bath Benefits

Cold water or ice baths are reported to treat inflammation, muscle soreness, and high blood pressure. Cold immersion therapy patients have reported elevated moods as well.

Ice baths are said to cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing inflammation. After a hard workout, muscles and joints can swell, increasing risk of injury and hampering muscle recovery. Immersing in an ice bath can reduce swelling and aid in injury recovery.


How Long to Ice Bath?

At the beginning of treatment, it is recommended that you only stay in for a few minutes at a time until you acclimate to the cold, as lowered temperatures can be a shock to the body. As treatment persists, it is possible to submerge in an ice bath for longer lengths of time, from five to fifteen minutes, but it’s recommended that you do so under a doctor’s supervision since extended exposure to freezing water can cause instances of hypothermia. A strict routine and close self-monitoring are important staying safe in this controversial type of therapy.


Ice Bath Temperature

The ideal ice bath temperature is reportedly between 50° and 59°F, though enthusiasts have been known to bathe at temperatures as low as 39°. This should be done with extreme caution since newer medical studies contradict some of the potential benefits.


Ice Bath Costs

Cold plunge tubs can be purchased for indoor and outdoor use and vary in price, the same as hot tubs. But in looking at the two, they seem comparable, except for models that function similarly to XL portable coolers. The low-end models seem to start around $400, and the hot tub similar models are priced at about $5000 and go up from there.


Hot Tub Benefits

While cold water is the best way to avoid inflammation and potential aggravation of injuries, hot water relaxes muscles, joints, tendons, and all levels of stiffness, allowing for better stretching and movement, and increasing blood flow, which stimulates healing. Hot water also helps regulate blood pressure, boost metabolism, and boost metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Heat widens blood vessels, which brings down swelling, reduce pours for potentially clearer skin.


How Long to Hot Tub?

You can soak in a hot tub for anywhere from 15-45 minutes if you consider your health, age, temperature preference, and tolerance. We know that spending time in the hot tub has proven health benefits, but users must remain aware of the safety limits. Factors vary from person to person, so it’s good to know the warning signs of overheating and other potential problems caused by soaking in a hot body of water for too long.


Hot Tub Temperature

If you prefer to keep your tub at 104°F, the ideal soak time is no more than 20 minutes. Healthy adults (who are not pregnant) can soak in a tub that is 102°F and cooler for up to 45 minutes with no problems. However, users must stay hydrated and step out for a momentary break after 45 minutes to avoid overheating.


Hot Tub Cost

Portable hot tubs vary in price in similar ways that cold-plunge tubs vary. There are a lot of factors that affect the bottom line, such as type, style, brand, and accessories. The average hot tub ranges from $5,000-20,000 and up higher for ultimate, premium models.


Should I Do Both?

When you’re looking for therapeutic ways to improve your health and wellness, contrast therapy is a solid option. Starting with a hot plunge can amplify the benefits of taking ice baths.

Studies indicate that contrast therapy can have the following benefits:


  • Prevent the accumulation of excess lactic acid in muscles.
  • Aids athletes in recovering from fatigue within 24 hours to 48 hours after competitions.
  • Decreases painful joint inflammation.
  • Decrease occurrence of delayed onset muscle soreness.
  • Triggers the body’s lymphatic system to flush toxins and support the regeneration of cells.
  • Reduce depression and anxiety through the release of endorphins.


Final Details

Contrast hydrotherapy should always start with a hot plunge session that lasts ten to twenty minutes, followed by a plunge in cold water for three to ten minutes. We recommend that you begin with short time intervals to give yourself time to get used to the change in temperatures and build on the length of time from there. Consistency is key in any routine, so be sure to create a routine that works best for you. As always, when beginning a new therapeutic method, it’s best to consult your doctor first.


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AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.

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