Using Water to Enhance Recovery for Athletes
Aquatic therapy has long been used as a method for athletes to quickly recover from an injury and return to their sport. This type of modality has allowed for athletes to train and rehabilitate even when they are suffering from injuries that are chronic or reoccurring.
Using a hot or cold pool after a workout can have a soothing effect because the natural properties of water stimulate circulation and work to reduce inflammation. Cold therapy is used in passive recovery techniques, but it is important to note that active recovery techniques can have impressive benefits.
Much like cold water, warm water is also known to provide the same soothing environment that can help athletes heal quickly and effectively. The warm water works to increase blood flow and increase circulation which can help treat and prevent some of the chronic injuries and conditions that athletes find themselves suffering from.
3 Benefits of Active Recovery in Hot and Cold Plunges:
- It’s effective: Athletes are ready for their next hard workout even more so than if they just rested for a full day. In the words of the staff at Michael Johnson Performance “Motion is Lotion”.
- It’s efficient: By actively moving joints and muscles, even on a recovery day, you are able to get more out of them. While recovering in the water, athletes can efficiently rest muscles while also strengthening them and maintaining cardiovascular fitness.
- It’s enjoyable: You do not have to beg athletes to get into the water for a workout or even for hot and cold therapy before and after workouts. It is something they look forward to because they know it works. Therefore, they don’t need to be reminded to start and end their workouts with plunge pools. From thousands of responses after thermal and cold contrast therapy, as well as active aquatic recovery, the athletes’ responses have been nothing but positive.