Soaking in a hot tub always exudes an image of luxury and relaxation. It’s certainly fun and rewarding in itself but did you know that they’re just icing on the cake? In this article, you’ll get to know the amazing health benefits of a hot tub.
From a headache cure to normalizing blood pressure, some of these benefits may not be obvious, but the way it can affect your health is a testament why it’s been part of our civilization for thousands of years.
There are several ways to experience this like visiting your favorite hotel, but the best way is having one at home. Innovations like an inflatable hot tub make it very affordable and easy to setup.
Hot Tubs, Then And Now
The practice of immersing oneself in a hot tub is nothing contemporary. This is an ancient practice that has been kept alive even up to now.
There were obviously no massage jets or any other automation in those periods, but they understood the therapeutic effects of soaking the body in hot water. Most of their experiences would have come from natural hot springs, which were viewed by other cultures as sacred.
Natural hot springs are abundant in Japan since old times, being active volcanic islands. It is no wonder that wooden square hot tubs are such a common installation dating back to almost 2000 years ago.
The Ancient Egyptians got their inspiration from the Nile river. Excavations of ancient cities revealed bath structures used by both commoners and the wealthy.
In Greece, they knew how hot waters can be very beneficial to their health. Even the great physician, Hippocrates, prescribed dips in spring water to cure sickness.
With the invention of aqueducts in Rome, more robust public baths were constructed. They even constructed ancient pools around natural springs as far as Britain. Did you know that spa, another term for a hot tub, is actually an acronym for Salus Per Aquam? It means “Health from Water” in Latin.
As our civilization continued to evolve, so do these hot tubs. From in-ground setups to above-ground installations and up to the inflatable versions. What used to be just hot water now has massage jets and filtration systems installed as well.
Health Benefits Of A Hot Tub
The benefits of a hot tub include the following:
- Can indirectly help with weight loss
- Helps improve the quality of athletic training
- Aids in the relief of arthritis pain
- Can Help Cure Hypertension
- Relaxes both mind and body to reduce stress
- Promotes healthy glowing skin
- Alleviates headaches like migraine
Some of these ancient or old cultures may not have a clear and definite idea of what was going on, but these people understood that it was so rejuvenating to immerse themselves in hot water.
The therapeutic effects of soaking in hot tubs are becoming popular these days, and even if you don’t know the specifics, you’ll start feeling refreshed and relaxed as soon as you get in.
Knowing the specific benefits of anything you indulge upon will make you appreciate it more. Doesn’t it feel good to drive your favorite car knowing how smooth the ride is going to be? How about when you’re using a lot of apps on your cell phone, knowing that the hardware is powerful enough to handle it?
I’m sure you’d like to have the same feeling of appreciation the next time you soak in a hot tub. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll enjoy your experience even more.
As we delve deeper into each benefit, keep in mind that they are all interconnected. The effects you get in relieving your stress also helps to clear your migraine, lowering your blood pressure and so on.
Is A Hot Tub Effective For Weight Loss?
Do you actually burn calories when in a hot tub? According to Livestrong.com, “a 150-pound person would burn about 17 calories sitting in a hot tub for 15 minutes.” You still do burn calories, but it is not significant enough to replace your exercise routine.
That is not to say you cannot perform simple exercises while in the hot tub. Simple shoulder rolls, raising your heels or even kicking your feet can aid in loosening up those tight muscles.
As your muscles start to loosen, blood circulates more effectively. This makes your body absorb the nutrients you get from healthy foods even better.
If you just did an intense workout, soaking in a hot tub will help relax your muscles. Couple it with a light massage from the hot tub’s bubble jets and the feeling is just heavenly.
Perhaps the major benefit that you can get is the detoxification of both body and mind.
Warm water opens up the pores of your skin, which then helps in the releasing of toxins. It is a perfect complement as you detoxify your body with your healthy diet.
One of the immediate effects you experience once you soak in is that the warm water causes your muscles to relax. With a relaxed body, your mind follows suit. Having a relaxed mind is essential when you are in the process of losing weight.
As Bridget Praytor, author of The Hot Tub Diet discovered, it’s all about the mindset. “Mindset change helped me shed the unwanted pounds”, as she has stated.
Going on a diet requires discipline. If your mind is not relaxed, if you are constantly stressed, then sooner or later your sense of discipline breaks down. You start giving in to junk foods and start losing your motivation to exercise.
Spending time in a hot tub promotes well-being. It makes you feel good. Feeling good is an essential part of the process of weight loss. It gives you the inspiration and the motivation to follow through until you reach the weight you desire.
Hot Tub And Athletes
If you’re an athlete and you want to be at the top of your game, then your heart, body, and mind need to be in excellent condition, both during practice and the event. You’ll need to continuously train in your chosen field, which can be very taxing to those three.
Since you’re working your body hard, sometimes to its limits, your muscles will naturally get tensed and will start to ache. Muscle aches caused by strains or sprains can affect subsequent training sessions. Unfortunately, this creates a cascading effect leading to stress and eventually, loss of motivation.
This is where the warm water and light massage from hot tubs can help significantly. It prevents the body from being burnt out, allowing athletes to train every day.
Hot water relaxes the muscles and improves blood circulation. It alleviates the muscle aches that follow after a strenuous workout. Soaking in a hot tub and enjoying some light massage at the same time is the ideal way to do it.
There are two things that you should keep in mind if you plan on doing this.
First, you will need to keep yourself hydrated. As your pores open and you start sweating because of the heat, you will lose more water from your body. You will need to compensate for this, which should be nothing new to you as should have been hydrating during training anyway.
The second thing is that even though it feels good to experience some high-pressure or deep tissue massage, you should avoid turning this feature on with your hot tub (if it has one). It will put further stress on your already inflamed muscles. Only light bubble massage will do.
Moreover, as your body starts to relax, your tiredness turns into feeling refreshed. You will feel good and when you feel good, you’re happy. When you’re happy, you are motivated to train again the next day or your next scheduled session.
Are Hot Tubs Good For Those With Arthritis?
Our ancestors may not have a better way of explaining things compared to us, but they sure listen to their body. They knew the therapeutic benefits of soaking in hot water; how it can soothe the body including joint pains.
Bruce E. Becker, MD, director of the National Aquatica and Sports Medicine Institute at Washington State University could not have said it better, “The research shows our ancestors got it right. It makes you feel better. It makes the joints looser. It reduces pain and it seems to have a somewhat prolonged effect that goes beyond the period of immersion.”
The pains of Arthritis can be a debilitating experience. Taking meds, such as pain relievers, may take the pain away. But if you do this a lot often, it can eventually have some negative effects on your kidneys.
Most people have become aware of this and have started looking for alternative ways to combat this. One such way is by immersing yourself in a hot tub.
There are 2 main factors that greatly contribute to how a hot tub can help relieve arthritis pain, water buoyancy, and heat.
Water buoyancy relieves the pressure caused by gravity to your joints. At the same time, the heat from the water improves blood circulation and relaxes tensed muscles.
The benefit doesn’t stop there, fortunately. With the pain lessened, you will feel more relaxed. A relaxed state allows your body to heal itself naturally. Your body knows what you are feeling and how to heal you as long as you don’t resist the process by adding stress.
Arthritis.org suggests in one of their articles here, that you should immerse yourself in water with a temperature in the range of 92 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also make sure that you are hydrated by drinking water before and after the session. A 20-minute session should be enough to reap its maximum benefits.
How Can A Hot Tub Cure Hypertension?
If you have mild hypertension, immersing yourself in a hot tub is such a rejuvenating experience. The relaxation you get from it has some immediate effects on lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress.
You will feel more relaxed as a result of improving your blood circulation. As the blood vessels expand to allow more blood to flow, your heart’s efficiency is increased. Your heart is actually being exercised as it pumps more blood to compensate for the now more active circulation. It is a lot similar to the beneficial effects you gain while brisk walking, without having to brisk walk at all.
By just sitting in a hot tub, you are actually improving your heart’s condition. “With more blood being circulated throughout the body, your arterial arteries relax, lowering your blood pressure.”, said Dr. Becker from his article here at www.aquaticdoc.com.
As always, you will need to stay hydrated and sip cold water every now and then as you sit in the hot tub.
Aside from the improved cardiovascular performance and the lowering of blood pressure, your body also releases stress hormones that counter, guess what? Stress. Stress is one of the main causes of increased blood pressure, aside from the food you eat, etc. Thus, you’re actually getting rid of one of the sources of hypertension.
Hot tub seems to be the direct answer to hypertension or high blood pressure. The heat from the water increases blood circulation, which lowers blood pressure.
However, if you’re experiencing hypertensive crisis you should avoid using a hot tub. Heart.org also suggests that you consult with your doctor first if you are advised against doing moderate exercises.
Relaxing In A Spa To Reduce Stress
You may have noticed already how stress plays an important factor in affecting our way of life. In truth, the occurrences of mild stress can be quite healthy to us.
Psychologically, it can help us to improve our resolve in life. Ever heard of the saying: “That which cannot kill you will make you stronger”? Stress becomes dangerous if it becomes chronic, causing illnesses and even life-threatening diseases to appear.
According to Mayo Clinic, chronic stress can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, depression, weight gain, digestive problems, and sleeplessness.
In our current busy and mundane life, there are always a lot of things to stress for. It is just as natural for us to seek balance, and the best way to counter stress is to learn to relax. Immersing oneself in a hot tub is just one of the ways to relax, and it’s really effective.
Studies show that immersion of the body in warm water help balance the nervous system and encourages the release of dopamine. Psychology Today defines dopamine as a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure center, combating the harmful effects of stress.
Aside from dopamine, when you go through hydrotherapy while in a hot tub, endorphins are also released. These endorphins are responsible for lifting our moods and are also our body’s natural painkiller.
Hydrotherapy in a hot tub is achieved by using the jets for water massage. There are different types of massage jets available, but they all lead to the same effects. They can soothe our muscles and help to relax both our body and mind.
Water buoyancy also adds another factor in reducing physical stress. The effect of weightlessness reduces strain on our joints and muscles. Together with the warmness of the water, it also helps cure sleeping disorders.
Relieving yourself of stress will not only affect you emotionally but will certainly help prevent new illnesses from appearing. It will also mitigate the effect of current health problems and can help in the healing process.
Hot Tub For Glowing Skin
The first part of our body that touches the warm waters of a hot tub is our skin. It’s also the skin that’s directly and constantly in touch with the waters so it is not surprising that it is affected as well.
Anyone who is conscious about the health of their skin knows that cleaning it with hot water is very beneficial.
Our skin naturally opens up its pores when it becomes warm. This allows for impurities to be released. It is cleaned and disinfected.
We also perspire when we soak our bodies in hot water, which is a good thing. It helps to rid our skin of toxins and impurities it has accumulated throughout the day, leaving us feeling fresh.
As we have discussed in the section before this, one of the immediate benefits of soaking in a hot tub is it reduces stress. This, in turn, improves our well-being and makes us happy. Our skin is the first thing which shows signs of stress. But if we are happy and not stressed out, our complexion improves and even exudes a certain glow.
Taking care of our skin does not start and end in our hot tub session, though. Before getting into the hot tub, you must shower first to make sure that the water where you’re going to soak in will not absorb all the dirt and grime. It is just being hygienic since you’re going to sit there for some time anyway.
As soon as you get off the hot tub, you will need to take a shower again to remove any chemicals like chlorine and other toxins that you have released.
You also need to keep in mind that the perspiration from the heat can get you dehydrated, so be sure to bring some cold water with you as well.
Can Soaking In A Hot Tub Cure Headaches?
A hot tub session can do wonders in combating tension and migraine headaches. Both the warm water and massage jets can significantly help reduce the pain and eventually rid yourself of it.
A tension headache, as the name implies, is caused by tension or stress. As we have discussed earlier, one of the main health benefits of a hot tub is that it relieves stress. Soaking yourself in a hot tub not only helps remove the pain but tackles the source of this headache as well.
As the heat helps the brain in producing more dopamine and endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller will help you feel better in just a matter of minutes.
If you have massage jets installed in your hot tub, particularly the more targeted and pressurized ones like hydro jets, it is advisable to adjust them to target your back and neck. This will help relax the muscles in this area, where a tension headache actually starts.
The same effects can also help address migraine headaches. The heat helps alleviate the pain and also dilates the blood vessels, which stimulates blood circulation.
According to Migraine.com, “increased blood flow is believed to help with pain because it increases oxygens, proteins, and other nutrients in the area of pain.”
Migraines, like tension headaches, are usually caused by stress. It is also affected by the amount of sleep we get. Sleeping disorders usually precede the onset of migraines.
As stress melts away while soaking in a hot tub, relaxation sets in. Our mind and body become at ease. With both mind and body at a relaxed state, you can be sure to experience a deep and restful sleep.
Wrapping It Up
There is a reason why soaking in hot waters has stood the test of time, even in our modern age, and this is because it remains to be effective. They have indeed taken a new form like the expensive in-ground spas or the cheaper, but just as effective, inflatable hot tubs, but their benefits remain the same.
If you have the cash to shell out, having a Jacuzzi installed at your place is worth the benefits of a hot tub. Don’t be discouraged if you’re tight on the budget, though. You can always get an inflatable spa for a fraction of the cost.
What may seem to be a luxurious way of relaxing, is actually a form of natural therapy that can definitely improve your way of life.