We often associate hot tubs with intimate soaks with a significant other or with fun parties with your friends. Both are perfectly acceptable social uses for your hot tub. But were you aware that your warm baths may actually be improving your health?
Here are a few things you should know before you climb back in your customized spa or hot tub.
The Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy is the use of water to alleviate discomfort and enhance well-being. It has roots going all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Historical physicians, such as Hippocrates, ascribed many medicinal properties to hot water baths. Doctors rarely use hot tubs for medicinal purposes today, but they do acknowledge that they have a number of therapeutic uses.
Using a hot tub can relieve muscle pain. The warm water in a spa can act like a hot pack on your muscles. The high water temperature, along with pressurized water from a hot tub’s jets, massages your muscles and loosening any tightness.
They help increase your blood flow. Your blood vessels dilate when you soak in the spa. Increased blood means faster oxygen and enzyme delivery, which can alleviate joint and muscle pain.
Taking a warm bath can help you sleep better. The warm water can help your body have an easier time relaxing, ensuring that you get deeper and more restful sleep faster.
They can help ease migraines. Taking a soak in a hot tub can suppress some symptoms of migraines, such as nausea and tension.
Hot tubs and spas help against arthritis. Therapists use hydrotherapy for a number of conditions, such as fibromyalgia, but it is particularly useful in helping people who suffer from arthritis. The warm water temperature decreases joint swelling and tightness. Submerging in water also reduces joint compression caused by gravity, allowing arthritics more mobility and less pain.
Keeping Your Hot Tub Safe
Although hot tubs can provide health benefits, they also come with a number of rules and responsibilities their owners should know and practice:
Talk to your doctor. Some conditions can make a bath in a hot tub hazardous to your health. Before you or a guest take a dip in a spa, consult with your doctor.
Shower first. Before entering your hot tub, take a shower and scrub with soap. This will lower the chances of a contaminant entering the water. You also lower the risk of getting an infection or allergic reaction.
Remove your contacts. The heat of the spa may dry up your contact lenses. This may cause irritation and even infection. For a more pleasant hot tub experience, remove your contact lenses.
Twenty minutes, tops. Prolonged submersion in high temperatures can adversely affect you. You shouldn’t stay in your spa for more than 20 minutes at a time. Leave the water to cool off, and then return if you want to.
Be responsible with alcohol. Just like with swimming pools, heavy drinking is not advisable when soaking in a hot tub. Alcohol can cause drowsiness, which may lead to drowning. If you or your guests are planning to drink when using your hot tub, do so responsibly and with moderation.
Owning a hot tub or spa is a luxury, one that comes with many benefits. You can share these benefits with friends and family by throwing a hot tub party, which is especially welcome during the colder months. Enjoy a warm feeling of camaraderie and of good health with your hot tub.