Have you considered adding a spa or a hot tub to your backyard? Anyone who has already looked into one knows the social benefits of being able to relax with friends and family in the new hot tub. But many people are not aware that a hot tub or spa actually offers many health benefits dating back to ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Native American tribes. If you are still on the fence about buying a hot tub, here are some of the benefits that modern science has attributed to hot tubs that may help sway your your decision.
Blood Pressure—One of the obvious attributes of a hot tub is that it generates large amounts of heat, hence the name. In a regular tub, hot water will gradually cool down until it is quite chilly. A hot tub can maintain the heat non-stop that does something very interesting to your body: it can reduce your blood pressure. When your body gets warmer from the water, your blood starts to flow more rapidly and easily, causing your blood vessels to expand. This will consequently lower your blood pressure, sometimes very quickly and substantially.
Muscle Relaxation—Another benefit of a hot tub, is that it can help with muscle relaxation, especially after a long day at work. If you are in a hot tub, your blood will not cool down as it recirculates through your body. Instead, it goes back at a warmer temperature. This, in turn, will give the therapeutic effects of heat to deep muscles where other means cannot reach. This muscle relaxation can help lead to deeper and better sleep.
Pain Relief—The heat from a spa also has the added benefit of muting or dulling your central nervous system’s sensitivity. Your body focuses on the heat increase from the hot tub so much that it forgets about the pain that it otherwise feels, leading to temporary relief. In addition, joint pain is relaxed because of the natural buoyancy of the water in the hot tub. In addition, when you are in any type of water, your body floats. This takes weight off of your joints, leading to less pain for those who have problem areas such as the lower back. Finally, pain relief can be provided from the jets in a hot tub or spa. The rapid pressure of water hitting strategic points such as the neck or back can relax muscles and ease pain tremendously, providing a massage-like sensation without having to visit a masseuse. Obviously, this type of therapy can be a blessing for those suffering from arthritis or chronic back pain.
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease—Some recent studies have shown a link between soaking in hot tubs and improvements in diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A 1999 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients with Type 2 Diabetes who used a hot tub for half an hour, six times a week, showed marked improvement in as little as ten days. This included weight loss and lower doses of insulin as well as improved sleep patterns. The prestigious Mayo Clinic has also reported that using a hot tub increases the heart rate but doesn’t raise a person’s blood pressure. In many ways, it gives you some of the benefits of exercise without the stress that exercise can put on your heart.
If you are still not sure if a hot tub or spa is for you, consider these health benefits. Hot tubs are not just for rest and recreation. They can also be for therapy and they offer significant health benefits.