Hot tubs are the ultimate way to relax your mind and body. They are very common for modern spa centers and gyms since their enwrapping heat is an excellent way to loosen up our muscles from a heavy workout or from a stressful week in the office. What is even better about hot tubs is that they can be used more commonly than saunas and steam rooms, since they are rarely as hot and are far more generous on our bodies.
In this article, we will go through some of the most important hot tub health benefits and explain how our bodies react to the warm fizzing water. Here are the 8 most important aspects:
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Relaxes our muscles
- Improves sleep quality
- Helps with our cardiovascular system’s health
- Helps with a number of medical conditions and symptoms
- Provides relief from lower back pain
- Helps people with chronic headaches
- Improves skin quality
Apart from all these benefits, we will also get into the safety precautions you need to take in order to not have any hot tub related accidents. If you want to check out some of the best inflatable hot tubs for this year, head over to my full buyer’s guide on the topic. Now, let’s jump into this!
Less stress and anxiety
With our everyday lives getting busier and busier, stress really becomes a 21st-century epidemic. To counter that, people try different things ranging from sports to massages, aromatherapy, saunas, and logically – hot tubs. The reason hot tubs do wonders for our nervous system is that they have this feeling of weightlessness to them which allows us to unwind after a stressful day or start our morning routine relaxed. Multiple studies have shown clear correlations between hydrotherapy and improvements in the psychological and mental states of the tested people. The specific combination of warm water and turbulent water jets creates a sensory sensation that grounds our bodies and works its way to the core of our stress through helping various systems.
The way hot tubs relax our bodies is the first effect that we feel once we enter them. This is due to the muscle relaxation effect they have on our bodies. Muscles, as with most other tissues in our bodies, relax when their temperature rises. This is why we feel more flexible and ready to train once we are fully “warmed up”. Hot tubs with their upwards of 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) temperatures, accelerate this process and loosen up our muscles in the first few minutes. As time goes on, the heat gets to the deeper tissues of our bodies such as joints and ligaments and helps them too by alleviating their tension and easing up various conditions such as arthritis.
Once the muscles are fully warmed up by the hot tub, their range of motion increases, and their metabolism improves as well. Relaxed muscles and dilated blood vessels means more blood flowing to every part of the muscle and, therefore, more metabolites getting cleaned from the muscular tissue. That results in less acidic acid and less soreness after a heavy workout.
Improved sleep quality
Insomnia and other sleep-related disorders are other modern-day epidemics that affect almost half of the adult population in the United States alone. The lack of proper sleep is linked to high stress levels, high blood pressure, muscle and joint pain, and even deeper conditions such as depression. Sleep deprivation is also linked to a chronic lack of productivity and ambition. What’s even worse is that all of those conditions tend to turn around and negatively affect sleep on their own, creating a bad cycle which can lead to some serious issues. Hot showers and soaking in hot water, in general, has proven to be an excellent remedy for shallow sleepers and people who often wake up during the night. The warm water allows us to have more continuous sleep with normal sleep cycles.
There are a few factors in a hot tub that give your heart a moderate workout. First, the added pressure from the water makes your heart work more to pump blood to all parts of your body. That isn’t as significant as the way hot water reacts with your cardiovascular system, though. Hot water raises your core temperature, meaning your vessels dilate. Once they dilate, the blood pressure drops, and in order to counteract that your heart rate increases to keep things steady. That also brings an alternative for your heart to normalize your otherwise high blood pressure by bringing it to a lower level after it drops. That is why people who suffer from hypertension are often advised to add regular hot tub or sauna sessions to their weekly routine. Still, if you have a heart condition, make sure that you consult with your physician before you go into the hot room or tub.
Another thing that helps with cardiovascular health is alternating between hot and cold showers. You can learn more about the benefits of doing that by clicking here!
Helps with various medical conditions
There are a number of medical conditions apart from hypertension that greatly benefit from hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms. Those are rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and more.
Fibromyalgia is associated with chronic fatigue and pain throughout your body and it often impairs sleep quality, the ability to concentrate, and other aspects of your life. There have been cases showing a clear improvement in work, everyday tasks, concentration, stress, and sleep quality in fibromyalgia patients who undergo regular hot tub sessions. Furthermore, these hot tub sessions reduce their overall pain levels and remove most of the stiffness and anxiety in the body. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis also benefit from spa therapy and patients often notice a major reduction in pain after just a few weeks of hot tub usage.
Patients with diabetes also respond positively to hot tub sessions by having their blood sugar levels drop significantly over the course of a few weeks of daily hot tub usage (or 6 days a week). They have also lost around 4 pounds on average in the first month of the study which further improved their condition.
Lower back pain relief
Just as with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, lower back pain issues tend to react positively from hydrotherapy sessions or a combination of hydrotherapy with some other form of treatment. While hot tubs alone won’t be able to deal with the cause of the condition, adding hydrotherapy sessions to your treatment has been shown to improve one’s quality of life and has significantly reduced some of the major symptoms such as pain and mobility.
Decreases chances of migraines
Migraines are an inflammatory condition of the blood vessels in our brains. They are hard to predict and treat and are often stress-related. That makes them quite common in the western world with most young people reporting that they suffer from a migraine at least once a week. While there are a lot of medications that can stop the symptoms dead in their tracks, reducing one of the major causes of migraines – high blood pressure, has shown to be prevalent in hot tub users. As I already mentioned, warm water dilates your blood vessels. The same goes for the ones in your head which upon dilating, effectively lower the pressure inside your brain which helps you have a headache-free life. Chronic migraines are the ones that are the easiest to affect by a continuous spa or hot tub usage.
Improved skin quality
It is common knowledge that heat opens up our skin pores. While dry heat does the best job at cleaning our skins (traditional saunas), steam rooms and hot tubs also have a significant effect on our skin’s metabolism and health. Once the skin “opens up” the warm water is able to clean out most of the toxins from it and let it refresh thanks to the detoxification. Heat also promotes skin flexibility and makes our skin appear younger and softer after continuous spa sessions.
Now that we’ve gone through some of the most important benefits hot tubs provide, let’s go through some of the safety measures you need to take around any hot tub…
Hot Tub Safety
While hot tubs are great in a lot of ways and can be your biggest ally when fighting different health conditions, they can also pose certain risks to you if not used and maintained properly. Apart from the obvious risks of them being slippery when wet and hard to get in and out, there are a few more complicated risks that must be discussed.
The first thing I want to talk about are infections that can be caused by using hot tubs. Hot tubs are well… hot. Add an excessive amount of moisture to that formula and you have the perfect breeding ground for various bacterial strains. These have been responsible for almost 30,000 infections and 8 deaths in the USA from 2000 to 2014. Improper maintenance and treatment can promote the multiplications of bacteria like Pseudomonas that can cause itchy bumps on your belly, rashes, and redness. Other strains like Cryptosporidium cause GI issues and Legionella causes lung issues and pneumonia. If you own a hot tub, make sure that it has a chlorine dispenser (either floating or a built-in one) which is changed as soon as it is empty. Also, make sure that you drain and clean your hot tub at least once a month or more often if you use it on a daily basis.
Pregnant women should also avoid hot tubs or heat in general since that has been proven to cause neural tube defects in their babies. There are also other conditions that aren’t quite compatible with hot tub usage, with heart conditions being some of the most common ones. For that reason, always consult your physician before going to a spa or before getting a hot tub.
If you’re looking for a well-made and comfortable hot tub that has the capacity to fit 4 adults, I suggest checking out my Intex PureSpa Spa Set Review. It is a premium inflatable hot tub that has all the pros of a conventional hot tub with the huge advantage of being highly portable and easier to maintain.
From the many reasons to relax in the warm water, the hot tub health benefits that matter the most are the ones that improve our mental and physical health. From muscle relaxation, sleep-quality improvements, and pain-relief, having a hot tub in your backyard is pretty literally going to be life-changing for you and your family.