Plunge pools are small bodies of water in a backyard that stay cool in the summer and are heated in the winter (though really they can be heated at any time). Here, we are going to talk about the health benefits of using hot water plunge pools, but if you can’t build one then a top inflatable hot tub will also do the trick.
Revitalize Muscles with Warm Water Therapy
These warm water aquatic therapy pools are filled with innovations designed to create an environment ideal for muscle recovery and revitalization. Hot water plunge pools are equipped with thermal heating units to distribute warm or hot water (94° – 104°) to relax tight muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins. Powerful massage, expandable hoses easily attach for specific deep tissue therapy.
Pool therapy heats muscle and tissue to increase circulation and restore blood flow to the body. The warmth of the water promotes a transient reduction in joint stiffness, pain and muscle spasms. It can also help to reduce inflammation. The typical temperature of a hot pool ranges from 94° – 104°F to relax tight muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins. Many plunge pool models also come with an attachable massage hose to offer a deep penetrating massage to sore areas of the body, further enhancing muscle recovery by relaxing more of your muscles.
“Getting your neuromuscular and endocrine systems regenerated can steepen the dose-response relationship to the training. Passive recovery is certainly important, but ‘active’ recovery techniques using HydroWorx are catalyzing our regeneration timelines.” – Lance Walker, Director of Performance at Michael Johnson Performance.
Clinical Benefits of Hot Water Therapy
Clinical studies supporting the benefits of aquatics are ample, and we have listed many relevant examples on our Research & Education page. A number of studies have looked specifically at the benefits of exercise in a hot water environment and found equally encouraging results.
A 1996 study of older adults found clinically significant range of motion improvements in the shoulders and hips, increased shoulder and quadriceps strength, and improved walking speed. The study — which involved 24 sessions in a 94°F therapeutic pool, held over a period of 12 weeks — concluded that the exercise led to “significant improvements in reported pain and in social function”(Activities, Adaptation & Aging. 1996; 20(3): 75-85).
A more recent case study of a 33 year old woman with multiple sclerosis found that regular aquatics in a 94°F therapy pool was “associated with the improvement in functional abilities.” The patient was monitored for body temperature, heart rate and other factors, and found no instances of heat or fatigue as a result of exercise in the hot water environment (Physical Therapy. 2001 April; 81(4): 1049-1058).
Warm Pool Therapy
Most pools are generally pretty cold. Warming them up can do great wonders in healing your body and there are a ton of different ways to warm up your pool enough. For example, picking an awesome solar pool cover or even a well insulated pool cover will help with warming up the pool anywhere from 5-15 degrees.