A high-quality hot tub can improve your life in ways you may not have considered before. Hot tubs bring your family closer together, and they give you a reason to invite your friends and neighbors over for a visit. Whether you’re staying up late to watch a meteor shower in the backyard or waking early to watch the sunrise, your hot tub helps you connect with the natural world around you. Incorporating hot tub usage into your daily routine can also help improve your general well-being. Regular sessions in your spa might help you reduce stress, ease pain, improve the quality of your sleep, and increase your flexibility. While only your doctor or a qualified medical professional will be able to tell you whether hydrotherapy—the use of water to relieve pain and treat various medical conditions—might be beneficial to you, here are some potential hot tub health benefits:
1. Improved Range of Motion
As we age, we lose our range of motion. This process is gradual for some and swift for others, depending upon factors such as genetics, activity level, injuries, and the presence of any medical conditions like arthritis. Through regular usage, your hot tub can help you restore lost flexibility and slow the natural stiffening that comes with age. The warm water of your spa works to create hydrostatic pressure—the pressure caused by the weight of fluids—on the body. This reduces joint inflammation, which in turn aids mobility. The buoyancy experienced in a spa relieves muscle tension, allowing your joints and muscles to relax and become more pliable. While soaking, you can take advantage of your relaxed state and your water-induced buoyancy to gently practice flexibility exercise. If you have mobility issues or any existing medical conditions, consult with your doctor before starting
2. Relief from the Symptoms of Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis is a common yet painful malady characterized by joint pain and swelling, accompanied by a decreased range of motion. Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form, results from a loss of cartilage between bones, leading to pain caused by friction. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that can cause widespread pain throughout the body, occurs when a person’s own immune system mistakenly attacks their joints, resulting in swelling and stiffness. These conditions can cause chronic pain and reduce the quality of life. Fortunately for sufferers of arthritis, spending time in your hot tub may provide temporary relief from arthritic joint pain
3. Relief from the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Akin to the way it might help people suffering from arthritis, spending time in your hot tub may also ease some symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder involving chronic pain and fatigue throughout the body, often resulting in disturbed sleep and an impaired ability to focus or concentrate. It can cause disruptions at work and disturbances at home. As with arthritis, a study of the effects of hydrotherapy on fibromyalgia patients showed demonstrable benefits. Following a course of hydrotherapy treatment, patients reported improvements in physical functionality, sleep quality, and the ability to do their jobs, accompanied by a reduction in pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Of course, these studies are limited in scope and should not be taken as medical advice. Before determining whether a hot tub can help you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms, consult with a qualified medical professional.
4. Relief from Lower Back Pain
According to one estimate, 80% of all Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point. The University of Maryland Medical Center refers to lower back pain, also known as lumbago, as “the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old” Lower back pain, whether chronic or acute, can severely impact the quality of life. It can make performing everyday activities—going to work, driving, shopping, doing household chores—a difficult and painful challenge. It can also cause sleep loss. In multiple studies, people living with chronic back pain who underwent hydrotherapy treatment, either on its own or in combination with other treatments, saw a reduction in their symptoms. While these studies do indicate that hydrotherapy may positively impact people suffering from lower back pain, they do not replace the advice of a doctor or qualified medical professional. To see if hot tub usage may help ease your symptoms, consult your physician.
5. Decreased Anxiety and Stress
How much of your day do you spend feeling stressed out? The hectic routines of everyday modern life can be a big source of anxiety: waking to an alarm, dealing with commuter traffic or overcrowded trains, fielding calls and emails at work, paying bills, taking care of the kids, putting dinner on the table, repairing your home, repairing your car, repairing your relationships… Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to let it all go? When you’re in your hot tub, nothing matters except how good you feel. Because it’s more energy efficient to keep your spa at a constant warm temperature instead of heating it up each time you use it, it’s always ready for you. Before you leave for work in the morning, soaking in your spa for fifteen or twenty minutes can help you begin your day feeling rested and focused. At night, it can help you unwind and leave the stresses of the long day behind you Randomized and controlled studies have shown that the use of hydrotherapy can lead to an improved psychological and emotional state. The combination of warm water and soothing massage jets help work the tension out of your muscles. Your water-induced buoyancy also helps relieve muscle strain, allowing your body to relax as you float. Taking a little time each day to ground yourself in a soothing, comfortable place away from life’s many distractions allows you to focus and helps relieve symptoms of your anxiety.
6. Better Sleep
Approximately 132 million Americans suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders more than once a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Lack of sleep can increase feelings of stress, anxiety, frustration, and depression while simultaneously reducing your ability to be productive. This can become a vicious cycle, as these same negative feelings can cause or aggravate many sleep disorders. Using your hot tub on a regular basis can break that cycle and help you get to sleep In a study of older female adults suffering from insomnia, the results indicated that soaking in hot water before bedtime leads to deeper, more restful, and more continuous sleep. Reducing your stress and anxiety levels makes you more likely to fall asleep without difficulty. Simply soaking for a little while before you go to bed will relax your nerves and muscles, making it easier to sleep. In your hot tub, you’re in your own little world, far from the stress and worry of the day. After a soak melts your cares away, you can go to bed without the problems of yesterday and tomorrow racing through your head. In addition, an evening soak is a perfect time to connect with your family. Spending quality time with your loved ones on a regular basis can help you tune out stressful distractions and focus on what matters most in your life. With peace of mind comes a peaceful sleep.
7. Eases Sore Muscles
America was built on hard work, and there are a lot of us out here still working hard today. Even if you’re not playing for the NFL, building houses, or climbing mountains, you may find yourself suffering from sore or aching muscles at the end of a long day. The daily routines of our jam-packed lives are more than enough to wear our muscles down. Outside of our day jobs, the strenuous physical labor continues: We work our muscles when we’re hitting the gym, hitting the bag, shooting hoops, or hiking trails. All that physical exertion, whether done for work or for recreation, takes its toll on the body. Hot tubs can help you take that pain away. The hot water and massage jets release tension and knead the toxins from your muscle fibers. Buoyancy takes the pressure off your legs, feet, and back, helping you work out the kinks and knots. Soaking in a hot tub after a hard exercise session or a long day at work is the perfect way to help your muscles recover for the next day. However, before deciding on a spa as therapy or a replacement for your prescription, you should seek the medical advice of a qualified physician.