Hot tubs aren’t just for parties or late night alone time.
Sure, they're relaxing and romantic, but many people dismiss them as luxury items and never give them a second thought.
What they don’t know (and you may not either) is that there are tons of amazing physical and mental benefits to using a hot tub!
In fact, according to renowned physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, Bruce E. Becker, aquatic therapy has been shown to have profound effects on cardiac, respiratory, muscle, bone, kidney and neurological functions.
Now that is a whole lot of benefits!
In this article, we're going to talk about these and many more benefits to soaking in a hot tub.
But fair warning: by the end of it, you'll definitely want to buy one!
Here we go!
Hot tub benefits for cardiovascular health
1. Lower blood pressure
Hot tubs sometimes get a bad rap for people with heart disease and hypertension. (You'll usually see signs posted by public spas telling patrons to check with their doctors first if they have these conditions).
But according to a study conducted by a group of Canadian physicians, there is very little data to back that up.
And in fact, of the 21 patients they tested, everyone experienced a significant drop in blood pressure, putting hypertensive patients back into normal range.
2. Improved circulation
Good circulation accounts for a whole lot more than you might think: it carries oxygen and vital nutrients to all your cells and organs.
This is what supports lung function, organ function and cell growth. I guess you could say circulation is important.
Hot tubs help with this because hot water causes your temperature to rise, which dilates the blood vessels.
That improved circulation speeds healing, eases tension on the heart and breathes life into tired muscles.
Hot tub benefits for emotional health
3. Improved sleep habits
In the US alone, studies show that 30% of the nation suffers from insomnia. And that is a bigger deal than you might think.
Insomnia can cause fatigue, irritability, poor focus, and memory problems.
In fact, according to Dr. Charles Raison of Psych Congress, “Sleep is the king of both psychological well-being and psychological dismay.”
That is a pretty strong statement, but it seems to hold true with much of the research available.
He claims that anxiety is the most common psychiatric condition caused by insomnia. But it can also be associated with depression and increased suicidal thoughts, along with many other health conditions such as heart disease, chronic pain and hypertension.
A hot tub is a great cure for insomnia.
Apparently, your body temperature drops slightly at night, which can keep some people awake longer.
So soaking in hot water for a half hour and raising your body temperature will help your body relax and make it easier for you to fall asleep.
4. Stress relief
Maybe it’s just the leisure of laying in warm water or feeling the relaxing effects of the jets massaging your tired muscles that make your worries melt away.
Or maybe there is some science behind it.
Dr. Bruce Becker, who I mentioned in the beginning, says that immersion therapy (immersing your body in water at at least 102°F) helps your autonomic nervous system fall into balance quickly.
And this is what helps your body adjust to various situations and remain calm.
5. Mental clarity
The same studies show increased blood flow to the brain which will increase cognitive functions.
Yep, hot tubs make you smarter!
Hot tub benefits for pain management
Hydrotherapy has been shown to be a hugely effective reliever of even the harshest of headaches.
For one thing, since a hot tub induces sleep and relaxes your muscles, it will alleviate a lot of the tension that could be causing it.
For even faster relief, try putting a cold towel on the back of your neck while soaking in your hot tub.
The Arthritis Foundation praises the many wonders of warm water therapy on arthritis, along with many other musculoskeletal conditions.
Soaking in hot water loosens up the joints by reducing the “force of gravity that’s compressing the joint”, and it supports your limbs and reduces inflammation and increases circulation.
For the same reasons warm water therapy helps alleviate arthritis pain, it also helps with pain caused by fibromyalgia.
It increases the blood flow to stiff joints and tight muscles, loosening the tension that causes pain.
It also reduces a lot of the inflammation that is causing pressure on your muscles and joints.
9. Joint pain
Joint pain is most commonly caused by arthritis, but not always.
It can also be caused by putting stress on your joints when your body is not used to it, like when you decide to run a 5k after being a couch potato for three years.
But just like with fibromyalgia and arthritis, warm water therapy can work wonders by easing inflammation, cushioning your limbs with water support and increasing circulation.
10. Back pain
If you suffer from chronic back pain, you know the torture of not being able to get comfortable or stand or sit in one place for very long.
It’s aggravating, and medication only brings temporary relief.
According to Spine Health, soaking in a hot tub has a way of stopping the pain messages your body is sending to your brain and stimulating your circulation to speed up healing.
It also relaxes your muscles and eases the tension that can cause that tight, achy feeling.
In addition to sitting in front of the jets, you might also try using a tennis ball between your back and the side of the tub.
Roll it around, massaging the lower back muscles while they are warm.
11. Muscle pain
Your back muscles aren’t the only ones that can get tight and cause pain.
Leg cramps and body aches can sneak up on you for all kinds of reasons.
And the increased circulation a hot tub causes will help with all of it.
12. PMS cramps
Heat has long been known as a great cure for the cramps that women tend to get before the big “P”.
According to New York ob-gyn and V Is for Vagina author, Alyssa Dweck, “heat brings blood flow to your pelvic area, and that helps relax the muscles causing cramps in the first place.”
Not only that, but raising your body temperature and causing yourself to sweat can cause your body to release feel-good endorphins that are better than any pain medication!
Hot tub benefits for beauty
13. Skin health
Hot water and steam has long been a treatment for skin because it opens up the pores and allows you to wash away any impurities that may be lurking there.
Not to mention the fact that perspiration also helps with detoxing.
It also increases your circulation, which is excellent for elasticity.
14. Hair growth
Although you need to be careful to condition your hair after chlorine contact, the improved circulation the hot tub stimulates in your body is great for hair growth.
That increased blood flow will help the blood reach the hair follicles to rejuvenate them.
Hot tub benefits for overall health
15. Weight loss
It might sound crazy, but sitting in a hot tub actually burns calories.
In fact, a person weighing 150 pounds would burn almost 70 calories in an hour...just sitting!
But aside from that, regularly soaking in a hot tub helps with stress, which is another well-known factor in weight gain.
16. Decreased diabetic symptoms
Some studies show that soaking in a hot tub can help lower blood sugar levels, decreasing diabetic symptoms.
It's unclear exactly why this works, but improving sleep, losing weight and reducing stress can have positive effects on blood sugar levels as well, which are all factors that hot tub therapy helps with.
17. Healing from injuries
Hot/cold contrast is a recovery strategy practiced by athletes all over the world and it's usually done by jumping in a cold tub and then a hot tub.
This dilates the blood vessels and allows new clean blood to be transported to the injured muscle regions to speed healing.
If you have the resources to do this and the physician approval, then by all means, try it out.
But even just soaking in a hot tub can speed healing because it increases the blood flow to your injuries to promote faster recovery.
18. Improved kidney function
The same studies done by Dr. Becker suggest that kidney function can be improved in warm water immersion therapy.
It’s possible that edemas can be reduced and renal function improved.
19. Respiratory system benefits
Believe it or not, immersion therapy can increase pulmonary health as well.
The compression on the chest along with the flow of the blood supply to the lungs seem to have a positive effect on breathing and lung functions.
20. Better bone health
Blood flow is absolutely vital to bone health and repair and regular hot tub usage can help with that.
According to medical studies, “Blood vessels lost due to trauma are regenerated, and new bone tissue formed in response to injury is vascularized.”
This is what delivers nutrients to the bones to speed recovery and build new bone tissue.
21. Tax deductions
If you're suffering from any of the medical issues we talked about here, chances are your doctor can prescribe a hot tub.
That means that if you've met your deductible and your insurance complies, you could be soakin’ for free!
Not only that, but if you do have to pay anything out of pocket, you can deduct the expense on your taxes.
Now that is a great benefit.
The benefits of soaking in a hot tub are incredible.
We even surprised ourselves a little when we discovered some of the crazy health boosts it can offer.
I mean, who knew you could lower your blood sugar by taking a relaxing soak in a spa? Not us!
Do you own a hot tub? Let us know what amazing benefits you have noticed.