Cold Water Therapy in a Hydropool Hot Tub or Swim Spa

Cold Water Therapy is the new "it" thing. Gyms all over the country have been implementing ice baths alongside their saunas, and tv shows like "Freeze the Fear" have put cold water dipping into the spot light. Wild swimming in the generally chilly waterfalls, rivers, and lakes of English countryside has also seen an uptick in popularity due to social media, coronavirus lockdowns, and the heat of the 2022 English summer. It isn't just a trend though, there are science backed benefits of cold water therapy.

It's also one more benefit of owning a Hydropool Hot Tub or Swim Spa. Simply set your hot tub or swim spa to as low as 15C and plunge away.

Depending on the size of your hot tub or spa, it may only take a day to reheat. However, give them longer to cool down as the insulation is meant to conserve energy and retain heat in the Canadian winter. Brr! Continue reading to learn more about one of the oldest forms of natural medicine- good old H2O.

A review on the Effects of Hydrotherapy from 2014 published in the American Journal of Medical Sciences found that head-out immersion over 1 hour at 14°C increased Dopamine (the "feel good" hormone) by 250%. Cortisol (the "stress hormone") tended to decrease across the board. According to this article,

"Regular winter swimming significantly decreased tension, fatigue, memory, and mood negative state points with the duration of swimming period; significantly increased vigor-activity scores; relieved pain who (sic) suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma; and improved general well-being in swimmers."

Water buoyancy and temperature of cold water swimming can release the build up of tension in the spinal column, lower fatigue by reducing muscle pain, and accelerate sports recovery.

There's even a tested hypothesis that cold water therapy may stimulate anti-tumour immunity! Long story short- it increases the good hormones, and decreases the bad ones.

The cold water immersion must be repeated to gain the benefits. Dr. Samatha Wild, a Bupa GP, suggested the proper method to gradually adapt to cold water. She states that sessions should start shorter and increase in time, definitely no immediate plunges unless you have health professionals on standby. Gradually warm up by adding layers, drink a hot beverage, and eat something sweet. To avoid cold water shock, you must ease into any bodies of water. Try the finger tip test, if you can't feel your extremities you are at risk of causing fatal damage by way of hypothermia. But the possible values of cold water therapy, lists Dr. Wild, are lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lowered risk of infection, and improved general well-being potentially helping with depression.

A Hydropool hot tub or swim spa kept between 20°-15°C would be the perfect introduction to cold water swimming, and completely sustainable for dipping. On a personal note, I find swimming cold invigorating and empowering! The release of "feel good" hormones is amazing, and I would suggest everyone try a cold water dip if they can. From experience, an 18°C swim spa is perfectly refreshing, even when it's not 30° outside! The high of a cold swim can be found right in your back garden with a swim spa or hot tub. If cold swimming isn't for you... the tubs and spas do go up to 40°C.


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