Everyone feels great after a nice soak, but why is that? Turns out there’s more advantages to spending time in a spa than you might have thought
The leisure-related benefits of a hot tub are well known, but what many may not be aware of are certain health benefits associated with a good soak. We dig into some of these advantages below.
1. Improve blood circulation
Heat gets the blood pumping, whether it’s from physical activity or external stimuli, like the warm waters of a hot tub. Good blood circulation ensures the body remains healthy; blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to muscles and cells and carries away wastes. Also, the higher water temperatures cause the blood vessels to dilate, lowering blood pressure.
There are studies to suggest that frequent hot tub use can also potentially reduce the risk of heart problems. A study in Japan followed the bathing habits and health conditions of 30,000 people for 20 years. The group was divided into three groups: people who had hot baths less than two times a week, three or four times a week and those who indulged in a hot tub almost daily. The researchers found that those who had hot baths most frequently had a 26% lower risk of stroke and a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another study from the University of Coventry suggests that hot baths can have certain health benefits that are similar to those of aerobic exercises like jogging and cycling. Heat therapies raise the core body temperature which, in addition to the effects on blood flow and pressure mentioned above, can also help reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation.
2. Sleep better
Everyone knows someone who complains about not getting enough sleep at night. Insomnia is a serious issue in the UK. According to a recent study from the University of Southampton, the number of people dealing with insomnia grew from one in six during pre-pandemic times, to one in four during it. People who don’t sleep well struggle with productivity and basic functionality in their daily lives. It also affects their mental well-being.
A popular recommendation for a good night’s rest is a relaxing warm bath to help the body wind down and prepare for rest. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that having a hot shower or bath, with water temperatures between 40°C to 42°C, one to two hours before going to bed can positively impact your sleep. This is because the body naturally begins to cool down a few hours before sleep. The hot water triggers the body’s internal regulation system and enhances the cooling down. Data from the study showed that those who took hot baths fell asleep 10 minutes earlier than others.
3. Relieve pain
One of the first remedies anyone’s suggests for muscle pain is a hot pack. Heat therapy in any form is known to be beneficial when it comes to treating body aches and pains. As mentioned earlier, the hot waters of a spa improve blood circulation, which means the oxygen and nutrients that muscles need to recover are constantly pumping through the body.
Hot tubs can be particularly helpful for those with spinal issues. Small studies have suggested that spa therapy can help relieve some lower back pain and chronic back pain. The combination of being able to immerse the entire body, the continuous pumping of the jets and the stable hot water temperature of a hot tub can replicate some of the benefits of hydrotherapy.
4. Reduce stress
Another of the hot tub health benefits is reducing stress. Warms baths have been associated with reduced stress hormone levels and improved serotonin levels, which helps manage your mood. It’s also an ideal environment to indulge in some mindfulness. What’s more, if you choose to share your hot tub soak with family and friends, the communal aspect of heat therapy may also act as an anti-depressant.
A handful of clinical trials and studies have also examined the link between warm baths and depression. Extrapolated results suggest that engaging in regular baths or hot tub soaks could help manage some aspects of depression better.
5. Restless legs syndrome
As the name suggests, restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, often because of uncomfortable sensations that occur within the limb, like pulling, throbbing or itching. The movement is believed to temporarily relieve the discomfort. This urge typically happens in the latter parts of the day, when you’re sitting or lying down. RLS can interfere with your sleep, which then impacts your daily functioning.
One of the recommended remedies to deal with RLS is bringing the legs in contact with warm water. This could be a heated pad, a cloth soaked in warm water, or a bath. Spending some time in a hot tub could help reduce the uncomfortable sensations caused by RLS.
Want to experience these hot tub health benefits?
Get in touch with us at Sutton Spas. We can help you choose the best spa for your needs, whether it’s using strong jets to massage you after a workout or day gardening, or a gentle soak to ease your stress at the end of a day.