While hot tubs are seen by many as luxury purchases, the reality is that a range of health benefits have been attributed to their use.
For this reason, hot tubs don’t just represent an enjoying way to spend some time, but also a great way to relax both the mind and body, with all the benefits that brings.
#1. Increased Circulation
The warm water and gentle hydrotherapy action of the aqua jets have been shown to increase the diameter of blood vessels. This process, known as “vasodilation”, has been shown to increase blood flow around the body, delivering additional nutrients to the cells, and removing unwanted waste.
So what are the practical implications of increased circulation thanks to warm water immersion? Numerous studies suggest that such a process can help to relieve muscle spasms as well as general muscular discomfort.
#2. Reduced Blood Pressure
The simple action of vasodilation can have another impact too. By sending the blood through wider vessels, while keeping the overall volume of blood equal, the overall pressure of blood in the body can fall.
#3. Reduced Joint-Related Pain
By relaxing the muscles numerous hot tub users have found an improvement in muscular or joint pain. In a survey of the Arthritis Foundation’s online panel 17% of respondents confirmed that they had experienced positive benefits from soaking in a hot tub. Another study found a reduction in joint-related pain of as much as 40% in some cases, as the water not only soothes discomfort but also supports the joints.
The effects seem to be particularly beneficial for those with ongoing back pain, where Arthritis.orgclaims that “heat can help relieve back pain by relaxing muscles and soothing painful areas” and that “effective options include… hydromassage”.
#4. Better Range of Motion
As we age, many of us find that our range of motion decreases. This can make everyday activities such as tying shoelaces or reaching up to pick something off a shelf troublesome.
Studies have shown that immersion in a hot tub can reduce swelling and relax muscles in such a way that overall range of motion can be improved. Just two or three episodes per week can be enough to encourage an ongoing and beneficial impact on movement.
#5. Better Sleep
It’s no secret that spending time in a hot tub can be a thoroughly relaxing and luxurious experience. Indeed one study looking at the psychological aspects of hot tub use concluded that their use “produced increased feelings of well-being and decreased state anxiety.”
The impacts of this feeling are more wide-spread than you might expect, however, with numerous users reporting better sleep patterns after use. Indeed, the National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a “soak in a hot tub before bedtime” as a way to combat insomnia.
#6. Increased Muscle Mass
Water is of course thicker than air, so moving in water can serve to increase the effectiveness of exercise. This is especially so for individuals who otherwise struggle to exercise thanks to physical limitations such as joint pain or excess weight.
A number of studies have shown that regular water-based activity can help to maintain or even improve muscle mass, especially in older individuals.
#7. Improved Blood Sugar Management
Diabetics with Type II diabetes suffer from an inability to self-regulate their blood sugar levels. This, of course, can cause major issues for sufferers of the disease. Increasingly, however, doctors are starting to appreciate the potential benefits of hot tubs for improving the effects of diabetes.
One such study, for example, reported that “heat therapy, via hot tub immersion, improves diabetic glycemic control and symptomatic diabetic neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes”.
As you can see, while there is no denying the pleasurable experience of relaxing in a hot tub, the impacts of regular use are not confined to mere enjoyment. Indeed, medical practitioners are seemingly discovering an ever-growing list of health benefits from their use.
This article was produced by HotTub Barn, one of the UK’s largest hot tub retailers.