Read these 12 Hot Tub Spa Benefits Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hot Tub tips and hundreds of other topics.
Anyone who has leisurely soaked in a hot tub knows the warm, soothing water promotes stress relief and relaxation. Stress relief like this leads directly to a healthier lifestyle. Why? The warm water of a spa buoys you up, making you feel weightless, and the tub sustains the warm temperature, unlike a hot bath that can grow cold before you're fully relaxed. A warm bath helps you begin to relax after a long day, but a hot tub expands the experience and aids in deeper relaxation.
Hot tubs help promote diabetes relief, including helping increase the benefits of exercise for Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes in America today. The warm water and increased circulation spas provide helps simulate the benefits of exercise. This can help diabetics control and manage their disease more effectively. One recent study followed diabetes patients who sat in a spa six days a week for 30 minutes each day. By the end of the study, the patients had reduced their blood sugar levels by 13 percent -- just by sitting in a hot tub. Adding exercise adds even more benefits.
The Arthritis Foundation is so sold on the benefits of hot tubs for arthritis pain they recommend daily use of a spa to ease pain and increase range of motion and flexibility. The hot water helps increase circulation, but the buoyancy of the tub also temporarily relieves joint strain and friction. So, when you sit in a hot tub and feel your pain subside, it's not your imagination. The jets can promote healing of damaged muscle tissue too. Hot tubs are also much easier to enter and exit than most bath tubs, and they keep the water temperature constant, which allows continued pain relief.
Regular spa use can also help ease back pain. The warm water soothes away tenderness and stiffness, while warmer blood coursing through the body relaxes muscles and lessens aches in the lower back. Anyone who suffers from back pain knows how debilitating it can be, but regular use of a hot tub for back pain can reduce stress, which can also help create tension in the neck and spine and lead to more pain. Most doctors recommend a regimen of cold and then heat for back pain, (think of those cold/hot packs that are all the rage in the supermarket nowadays). Since the warm water in a hot tub is continual, it can help keep constant warmth along your back and neck without the worries of using a heating pad for extended periods.
A spa can help increase blood flow and actually lower blood pressure. Relaxing in hot water makes the heart beat faster and move the blood more rapidly. Initially, this creates slightly higher blood pressure. However after a few minutes, blood vessels dilate, the newly warmed blood spreads throughout the body and blood pressure drops. This helps creates a wide variety of health benefits, from relaxing the muscles and increased circulation, to a deeper, more relaxed sleep. That's why many doctors and physical therapists prescribe a hot tub to help their patients relax at the end of a long day.
In addition to helping your body relax and de-stress, hot tubs help promote healing throughout the body, too. Adding the jets to warm water therapy can increase relaxation and speed healing in sore muscles. The warm water, combined with this extra oxygen promotes healing inside and out. The heat of the water and the pressure of the jets have a lot to do with it. There is also evidence that the jets can raise antibody levels and white blood cells in injured areas, which helps them heal faster by destroying injured cells and stimulating the formation of new, healthy tissue. That's why you'll often see athletes soak in a hot tub after a match or game. The warm water helps them relax, but more than that, it will help speed up their healing so they can play another day.
First, just sit back and relax! Allow your muscles and joints to loosen up before you begin an exercise routine. You should check with your doctor to find out the best exercises for your particular form of arthritis. Chances are this regimen will include some stretching exercises and gentle movement using the joints and muscles most affected to keep them supple and loose. Check with your local Arthritis Foundation office to see if they offer water exercise classes in your area. These will give you more ideas and specifics on what exercises you can do in your hot tub that will benefit your precise type of arthritis.
A spa helps keep joints healthy and helps relieve arthritis pain. The Arthritis Foundation recommends hot tubs for arthritis patients, in fact. Many tub owners find their arthritis is less painful after a soak, and it even helps them get a more restful sleep if they take a dip before they go to bed. A spa does not have to be superheated to gain these benefits. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a tub temperature of 90 degrees or above, especially if you use your spa for exercise. If you have trouble climbing in and out of a hot tub, you may want to choose an in-ground model for comfort and safety.
Special therapy jets are standard in a hot tub for back relax purposes, and they target problem areas in the neck and back to help soothe pain away. Many tubs include lounge seats with jets specifically designed to massage the lower back, too. The warm, circulating water loosens muscles and dulls pain, which helps you relax. If the hot tub seat is too hard for your comfort, many dealers offer special pillows or seat covers to take care of the problem. Many doctors prescribe hot tub therapy for back pain because of the heat and increased blood flow, but also because the buoyancy of the water helps remove weight and stress from the spine and vertebrae.
Two European studies indicate back pain is consistently improved after using a hot tub. One study measured results in a group of sufferers who used a hot tub for three weeks, and another group who only used medications for their back pain. After three weeks, the group who used consistent hot water therapy in the hot tubs had less pain and pain intensity along with more back flexibility. The study continued for six months, and participants continued to show significant improvement. They also used fewer pain-killers like aspirin or anti-inflammatories.
Most diabetics also suffer from circulatory problems, and the increased blood flow spas encourage can help the diabetic patient who worries about poor circulation. Exercise in the spa is also much easier than regular exercise, and even a minor workout helps promote better circulation and blood flow throughout the body. The American Diabetes Association recommends daily exercise of some sort in managing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can also help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in people who may be prone to the disease, too. For patients who have difficulty exercising, a hot tub may be just the answer to help them begin their exercise program. It's more fun to exercise in the water, too!
What jets are right for easing your back pain? There's only one way to truly find out if a hot tub and its jets are right for your particular needs. Sit in it! Taking a test soak ensures the jets are placed correctly and have the right pressure and massage. In addition, testing a hot tub before you buy lets you know if the seating is comfortable, if the lounge fits, and the controls are easy to reach and use while you're in your tub. All of these are considerations you should think about before you buy, especially if you have back pain. Reaching, stretching, and pulling may harm your already aching back, so test all these little details before you purchase the tub that's right for you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|