Health Benefits of a Hot Tub
Hot tubs can help you feel good as well as improve your health in several important ways.
A soak in a hot tub can feel oh-so-good after a long day.
Hot Tubs Improve Your Cardiovascular System
A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health revealed that warm water immersion is good for your heart and entire cardiovascular system. That’s because the heated water increases cardiac output due to blood flow shifting to the main blood vessels. The study’s authors concluded that warm water immersion has so many benefits for your cardiovascular system that it has “clinical significance as an alternative to exercise training.”
Hot Tubs Help Loosen Up Stiff Joints
A hot tub can be a godsend if you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or lower back pain. The Arthritis Foundation says that soaking in warm water loosens stiff joints and sore muscles. Heat from the water expands your blood vessels, which lets blood, oxygen and nutrients flood and repair the damaged tissues. That boost in circulation makes joints and muscles feel better fast.
Hot Tubs Can Improve Your Sleep
In need of more (or better) zzz’s? Then consider immersing yourself in a hot tub an hour or two before bed. In a 2019 study, biomedical engineers at the University of Texas at Austin showed that going into water that’s at least 104 degrees F significantly improves sleep.
The researchers concluded this after sifting through 5,322 studies on how warm water affects sleep. They found that not only does your sleep quality improve when you take a dip in warm water close to bedtime, but that on average you fall asleep 10 minutes faster. The water, they found, changes your circulation and body temperature in ways that aids your circadian rhythm.
Hot Tubs Can Reduce Harmful Inflammation and Improve Your Metabolism
Exercise and eating right have always been the ticket to good health. But soaking in hot water can help, too. A study conducted by a team of researchers at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom showed that hot water immersion helped reduce chronic low-grade inflammation in a group of sedentary, overweight men. What’s more, it also reduced the subjects’ fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.
The researchers attributed the results to hot water kicking off the beneficial acute inflammatory response and increasing the production of nitric oxide, a substance that helps blood flow and carries glucose throughout the body.
Hot Tubs Can Lower Your Blood Pressure and Help You Feel Less Stressed
You probably didn’t need a study to tell you that hot tubs can help melt away your stress. Nonetheless, a study by a team of researchers led by well-known aquatic researcher Dr. Bruce E. Becker revealed that warm water immersion helps lower your blood pressure. And that’s a good thing if you’ve had a rough day, because stress has been shown to temporarily increase your blood pressure.
In “Biophysiologic Effects of Warm Water Immersion,” the research team discovered that, on average, participants’ systolic blood pressure decreased by 11.596 mmHg and that their diastolic blood pressure decreased by 25.826 mmHg after taking a dip.
Hot Tubs Aren’t for Everyone
While most people can safely use a hot tub, certain groups should avoid them. Pregnant women, young children and anyone with heart disease should stay out of hot tubs. Even if you don’t fall into one of these groups, it’s still a good idea to check in with your physician before using a hot tub.