Bubble Your Troubles Away: 9 Health and Well-Being Hot Tub Benefits

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated March 9, 2022
A woman relaxing in the hot tub
Photo: dglimages / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Relieves stress, boosts mood, and improves sleep

  • Eases aches and pains, heightens heart health, and burns calories

  • Limit sessions to 15 minutes

  • Hot tubs should be well maintained for safety

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Have you always dreamed of sinking into the steaming waters of a hot tub to relax after a long, hard day? If you’re thinking of investing in one of these above-ground portable spas, it’s not just bubbling your troubles away that might make the cost of a hot tub well worth it. 

The potential hot tub benefits below might sway your decision on whether to hire a local hot tub installer to add this luxury item to your outdoor space.

1. Reduces Stress

The biggest benefit most people associate with soaking in a hot tub is how it can wash away the day's stresses. The warm water relaxes the body and soothes us physically and mentally. It’s a great way to promote feelings of contentment (the hot water can release mood-boosting endorphins) and unwind. 

2. Provides Pain Relief

If you have pain in your joints or muscles, relaxing in the warm waters of a hot tub helps to ease the aches. Studies show it can increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation, decreasing painful symptoms of conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic lower back pain. The buoyancy of the water takes the weight off painful joints, helping to improve range of movement and flexibility. 

3. Promotes Better Sleep

A woman sleeping
Photo: sementsova321 / Adobe Stock

Spending half an hour in your hot tub before heading to bed might help you have a longer, sounder night’s sleep. Research suggests that warm water may help manage insomnia, particularly for those suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms. It relaxes the mind and body and can decrease your heart rate, all of which can help you drift off into a peaceful slumber. 

4. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Soaking in hot water dilates your blood vessels, which can lower your blood pressure. The potential improvements in vascular function are a particular advantage for people who only manage limited exercise. Because your heart has to work harder in hot water, it can also increase your lung capacity and oxygen intake, helping to keep you healthier.

5. Weight Loss

Regular hot tub sessions can’t replace the benefits of a healthy diet and daily exercise, but studies indicate it can aid weight loss. An hour's soak in a hot tub could burn the same number of calories as a 30-minute walk. 

6. Skin Detox

The heat and steam your hot tub generates opens pores on your skin, which may help clear dirt and toxins from it. The increase in blood circulation can also make skin look firmer. Be aware, however, that without regular and thorough hot tub cleaning and treatment, a skin condition called hot tub folliculitis can develop. Fortunately, this bacteria is highly treatable.

7. Boosts Mood

Research suggests taking regular baths moderately and persistently lifts the mood of people suffering from depression. To get technical, it’s thought they might help to synchronize our circadian rhythms. It makes sense that soaking in a hot tub would have a similar mood-boosting effect. 

8. Athletic Advantages

Because it can relax stiff muscles and improve sleep quality and cardiovascular health, many athletes regularly slip into a warm hot tub after a hard workout or competition.

9. Potential Benefits for Diabetics

Soaking in a hot tub could help diabetics. Studies show regular dips can reduce blood sugar and blood glucose levels. Popping in the tub for around 15 minutes three times a week may be enough to reap the benefits. 

Know the Risks

Providing you use them sensibly, hot tubs can have lots of benefits, but there are potential hot tub health hazards worth being aware of.

  • Consider consulting your doctor before using a hot tub if you have heart problems or you’re pregnant.

  • If you slack off on the hot tub maintenance, cleaning, and treatment regimes, you could expose yourself and other users to a host of nasty bacteria and parasites.

  • Avoid soaking when you have a urinary tract infection, low blood pressure, or open cuts at risk of infection.

  • Ensure the water temperature doesn’t get too high—keep it below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Limit your sessions to around 15 minutes, unless the water temperature is only warm, and get out if you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, or short of breath.

  • Always rinse off in clean, warm (not freezing cold) water after a hot tub session.

  • To get maximum benefits, be sure to maintain your hot tub to prevent hot tub bacteria and other adverse health effects.

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