Four ways soaking in a hot tub is good for your health

We know that soaking in a hot tub is good for our mental health. Relaxing into the warm, bubbly water is the perfect way to ease tension and let go of stress.

But did you know that it can be just as good for your physical health too?

If you’re looking for a good excuse to spend time in one, here are four good reasons why you should go for it.

1) Hot tubs can boost your cardiovascular health

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that people who suffer from hypertension experienced decreased blood pressure after soaking in a hot tub for 10 minutes.  so settle in with your favourite hot tub accessories and enjoy a nice soak for your heart.

This may come as a surprise, as most public hot tubs warn people with high blood pressure to consult a physician before using them. However, this universal warning came as a result of 1980 study from Australia that subjected three healthy men to three periods of 20-minute soaking sessions in a dangerously hot 105.8°F jacuzzi.

So, as long as you don’t set your hot tub to ‘boil’ mode, you can apparently relax and soak away your troubles.

2) Hot tubs can reduce stress and improve sleep

Stress can contribute to a myriad of health problems and make it hard to sleep. Because stress causes hyperarousal, people experiencing mental and emotional pressure often suffer from an imbalance between sleep and wakefulness. This not only hinders the quality of their sleep, but also makes it increasingly difficult to fall and stay asleep.

However, by incorporating a 10 to 15-minute hot tub soak into your nightly routine, you’ll give your body a chance to unwind before hitting the sack. (Just make sure you’re out at least an hour before you intend to sleep.)

Along with relieving stress and tension, the massage-like experience of hot tub jets prompts your muscles to reach a more relaxed state.

During your nightly hot tub sessions, use the time to mentally focus on relaxing. Feel the warm water soothe your tired bones and muscles; imagine yourself as a weightless feather that’s letting go of all the stress holding you down; let the jets massage away tension; and make an effort to use the time as a break from the hustle of stressful days.

Struggle to fall and stay asleep? Read eight ways you can get a better night’s sleep.

3) Hot tubs alleviate arthritic pain

As we get older, it’s not uncommon to begin experiencing symptoms of arthritis, a joint disorder that causes stiffness, swelling, redness, pain, and warmth in areas where two bones meet.

As one of the oldest forms of holistic therapy, soaking in warm water has proven to be an effective treatment for arthritis for hundreds of years. Research from the National Aquatics and Sports Medicine Institute at Washington State University has found that our ancestors had the right idea when they turned to hydrotherapy as a treatment option for joint pain.

When soaking in a hot tub, the water does a number of different things to help alleviate the pain of your inflamed arthritic joints, including:

  • Eliminating gravity’s force on the compressed joint.
  • Providing all-encompassing support for sore muscles and achy limbs.
  • Decreasing swelling and inflammation.
  • Increasing circulation to the affected joint to relieve stiffness.

However, you need to bear a few things in mind before hopping in the hot tub. Sessions should be kept to around 20-minutes, and you need to ensure you keep hydrated before, during and after for optimal pain relief.

Also, make sure you test the water and keep it at a temperature that is relaxing but also safe. Pay attention to how you’re feeling while soaking in the water, too.

4) Hot tubs can help treat Type 2 diabetes

It may seem surprising, but hot tub therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for Type 2 diabetes.

An independent study discovered that Type 2 diabetes patients who soak in a hot tub for 30 minutes a day, six days a week, could expect to lower their blood sugar by an average of 13%, resulting in a decrease of insulin intake.

Similarly, Type 2 diabetics who’ve developed a  daily 30-minute home hot tub regime also report additional benefits like improved sleep and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Start soaking away your aches, pains and worries

So there you have it. Permission to to soak away in a hot tub guilt-free – in the knowledge that you’re caring for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with many publications, including Bullfrog Spas. When she’s not writing, Danielle enjoys practicing yoga, meditation for stress relief, and learning more about hydrotherapy.

Photo by Robb Leahy