One of the benefits of a cold plunge pool is reduced soreness and recovery time following a workout. If you have a hot tub, steam room, or dry sauna at home or place of business, you may want to consider adding a cold plunge pool, also. Alternating between immersion in hot and cold water is called “contrast hydrotherapy” and is also known as hot/cold immersion therapy. This is a form of treatment where either an injured or sore limb, or the entire body, is immersed in ice water followed by immediate immersion in warm water. This procedure is repeated several times, alternating between hot and cold water. Both amateur and professional athletes use this treatment method to stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
Topics: Cold Plunge Pools
At Loughborough University we investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control (an important measure of metabolic fitness) and on energy expended (number of calories burned). We recruited 14 men to take part in the study. They were assigned to an hour-long soak in a hot soaking tub (40 degrees Celsius) or an hour of cycling. The activities were designed to cause a 1 degrees Celsius rise in core body temperature over the course of one hour.
Cycling resulted in more calories being burned compared with a hot bath, but bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories). The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.
We also showed changes to the inflammatory response similar to that following exercise. The anti-inflammatory response to exercise is important as it helps to protect us against infection and illness, but chronic inflammation is associated with a reduced ability to fight off diseases. This suggests that repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, that is often present with long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
Exciting new field of research
Passive heating for human health is a relatively new field of research, but some exciting results have emerged over the past few years.
Research from Finland, published in 2015, suggested that frequent saunas can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke—at least in men. The idea that passive heating can improve cardiovascular function received further support when the University of Oregon published a study the following year showing that regular hot baths can lower blood pressure.
In a second study, the same group looked at the mechanism responsible for these improvements. They found that passive heating raised levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. This has implications for treating high blood pressure and improving peripheral circulation in people with type 2 diabetes. As type 2 diabetes is associated with reductions in nitric oxide availability, passive heating may help re-establish a healthier nitric oxide level and reduce blood pressure.
In order to establish the effect of increasing body temperature passively, as opposed to through exertion, another study matched the intensity of heating from water immersion to that of running on a treadmill. Water immersion resulted in a greater increase in body temperature compared with exercise, as well as a greater reduction in average arterial blood pressure. This is important as a reduction in blood pressure is closely associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. This study points to the promising effect that may result from passive heating. It also suggests some of the cardiovascular effects of passive heating may be comparable with those of exercise.
As well as the cardiovascular effects of passive heating, there is evidence to suggest that there may be beneficial metabolic effects as well – such as better control of blood sugar. The fisrt study, conducted by Philip Hooper of McKee Medical Center, Colorado, in 1999, investigated the effect of three weeks of hot-tub therapy in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The results showed improvements in body weight, blood sugar control and a reduced dependence on insulin.
Hooper thought these effects may result from changes to blood flow as a result of passive heating, but he was unable to identify a specific mechanism by which their intervention led to these benefits.
Since this early investigation, few studies have investigated the potential for passive heating to improve blood sugar control in humans. With our study, we have tried to reignite interest in the health benefits that may be linked to passive heating.
Heat shock proteins
Studies using animals may have identified how heating affects health. These studies suggest one of the key regulators of blood sugar control may beheat shock proteins.
Heat shock proteins are molecules that are made by all cells of the human body in response to stresses. Their levels rise following exercise and passive heating. In the long term, raised levels of these proteins may help the function of insulin and improve blood sugar control. (Conversely, heat shock proteins have been shown to be lower in people with diabetes.)
It seems that activities that increase heat shock proteins may help to improve blood sugar control and offer an alternative to exercise. These activities—such as soaking in a tub or taking a sauna—may have health benefits for people who are unable to exercise regularly. Hopefully our future investigations, coupled with those of other groups worldwide, will help to establish the true potential of passive heating as a therapeutic tool.
Topics: Custom Designed Bath Tubs
If you have a beautiful natural copper tub or sink in your home or place of business, you need to know how to properly care for it, to ensure many years of use and enjoyment. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to care for your copper sink or tub.
Topics: copper tubs
Copper is a wise choice when deciding on a sink, and has been used in design since ancient times, as it is a soft, malleable metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity capabilities, making it a perfect choice for sinks.
Topics: custom designs
Topics: Custom Hot Tubs
Both stainless steel and copper offer a unique and classy beauty that can set off the aesthetic wonder of any bathroom. Ideal materials for custom bathtubs, these high-end metals will hold up well over time and maintain an attractive appearance over its lifetime. Both metals offer many benefits, so choosing one or the other to include in your new or soon to be remodeled bathroom deserves a little insight. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of each of these beautiful metals to see how they might work as a tub in your bathroom.
Topics: Custom Designed Bath Tubs
Diamond Spas can fabricate truly one of a kind soaking tubs that illustrates your own unique style. From contemporary flare to timeless designs, Diamond Spas will custom design a specialty tub for your project. Diamond spas utilizes a variety of materials and styles to make each design different from the rest.
Topics: Specialty Baths
Have you been dreaming of building a custom pool somewhere on your property? If you can envision it, Diamond Spas can design and build a custom swimming pool or spa to match your vision. Imagine lounging in a gorgeous stainless steel or copper swimming pool, gazing at the skyline of your city, or enjoying the stars on a clear night in the country. Nothing is more therapeutic than relaxing in a pool of water, feeling the stress of the day melt away as you take refuge in your private pool and put your worries behind you.
Topics: custom swimming pools
Swimming is one of the best if not THE best sports for all around fitness training. In a world where many of the sports these day are rolling with injuries, swimming is a sport where you can expect less injuries and reap more rewards. Here is just a sampling of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of swimming on a regular basis:
No matter what part of the county you live in, winter is a great time to take advantage of the many health benefits of owning a pool. If you’re in a colder climate, a heated pool is a fantastic way to get some exercise into your daily routine without the need to brave the cold weather (except for the dash from the warmth of your home to the warmth of the water).
Topics: swm spas