The Health Benefits of Hot Tub Use
Hot tubs are a modern incarnation of the hot baths that have been used throughout history, as early as 2000 B.C. when ancient Egyptians created hot baths by placing sizzling rocks into water. The health benefits have been long known, and modern medicine agrees. Here are just a few of the health improvements that can come from using a hot tub.
Improved sleep and reduced stress: Sitting in a hot tub raises the body temperature, and the drop in internal temperature that occurs afterward is beneficial for inducing sleep. Spending as little as 15 minutes in hot water 90 minutes before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. The heat and weightless effect provided by a hot bath relaxes the mind and body, inviting sleep to come easier, without the use of chemical interventions.
Pain control: Physical therapists routinely use hot baths for pain management for everything from minor aches to serious injuries. This is because the hot water stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that improve mood and kill pain. Immersing your body in hot water causes the blood vessels to dilate and improve circulation, resulting in less pain and inflammation. The soothing warmth of a hot bath and the natural buoyancy it creates also create an ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness.
Type 2 Diabetes: A small study published several years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that soaking in a spa can stimulate some of the beneficial effects of exercise. Patients who soaked in a spa for at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week lost weight and reduced blood sugar levels without any other lifestyle changes. The theory is that the increased circulation from the hot water made the difference.
Improved blood pressure and circulation: In the same way it works for pain, the vasodilatation that comes from the hot water improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. The American Heart Association advises individuals who have been advised to refrain from other activities that cause vasodilatation to avoid using hot tubs.
As you can see, the health benefits of soaking in a hot tub are directly related to the reduction in stress and physical discomfort. Both cause sleep disturbances, which leads to other physical ailments, illnesses, and decreased productivity. If the only benefit that you gain from using a hot tub is stress reduction, it will have a huge impact on your overall health and well-being. You will be able to soothe overworked muscles and may be able to speed healing from injuries.
Something so simple that reduces stress and pain, feels great, and promotes healthy relaxation is well worth giving it a try.