The Complete List of Hot Tub Health Benefits

Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 21st April 2021

Soaking in a hot tub is one of life’s little pleasures.

A home spa is the perfect place to unwind after a long day, let the stress of the week wash away, or entertain guests.

But did you know hot tubs are also associated with a whole host of health benefits? See our complete list of hot tub benefits below.

What are the benefits of being in a hot tub?

Make hot tub hydrotherapy a regular part of your lifestyle and these are the health benefits you can expect to enjoy:

Photo © Marquis

Stress relief

The warm water. The soothing jets. The white noise.

Your hot tub can become your own sanctuary away from the turmoil of daily life, either as a solo soak or as a way to squeeze some quality time with family and friends into your hectic schedule.

In a world where it can feel impossible to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, a spa session can help you relax, unwind, and destress.

And studies have even shown that the use of hydrotherapy can provide a psychological and emotional boost, making it a powerful way to improve your wellbeing.

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, a soak in a hot tub is a proven way to relieve your stress.

Relief from aches and pains

34% of Brits suffer from chronic pain, according to Versus Arthritis’ most recent State of Musculoskeletal Health report.

Luckily, hot tubs can help relieve the aches and pains of everyday life. For many people this is a primary benefit.

The water’s buoyancy reduces your body weight by around 90 per cent, relieving the pressure on your joints and muscles – especially the spine, which bears the brunt of our modern lifestyles.

In fact, British office workers are spending up to 75 per cent of their waking hours sitting down, according to a new study by the British Heart Foundation. This is a huge factor in why low back pain affects around one-third of Britons each year according to the NCBI

“Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on discs on the spine as standing [and] can cause unnecessary strain on the back and neck” says Tim Hutchful, a British Chiropractic Association (BCA) chiropractor.

James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, put it more bluntly in an interview with the LA Times: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” 

However, studies show that hydrotherapy treatment reduces the symptoms of people living with chronic back pain, meaning making a soak in a hot tub a part of your daily routine can help you manage a bad back.

Improved sleep

31 per cent of UK adults say they have insomnia and 48 per cent agree they don’t get the right amount of sleep, according to research by Aviva.

And while a bad night’s sleep can ruin the next day, chronic lack of sleep caused by sleep disorders like insomnia can have a serious impact on your stress levels, mental health, and even your immune system.

Luckily, a daily dip in a hot tub can help you fall asleep soundly every night avoid all these health issues. A study of insomniacs revealed that soaking in hot water before bedtime leads to deeper, more restful, and more continuous sleep.

Quality time with friends and family

Dozens of studies have shown that people with strong social ties are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer, according to Harvard Medical School.

Enjoying a soak in the hot tub with your nearest and dearest not only gives you all the benefits associated with spas themselves, but also those that come from socialising.

And it’s one of the few places that you’ll get to enjoy people’s company away from the distractions of devices, making it a great place to catch up with friends and family.

Encourage weight loss

Did you know soaking in a hot tub for an hour and burns about the same number of calories as a 30-minute walk, according to a 2016 study?

While a soak in your spa shouldn’t replace regular exercise, burning a few extra calories while you sit back and unwind is certainly a nice benefit of using a hot tub – especially if you find it hard to exercise.

Muscle relaxation and recovery

Photo © Jacuzzi

Just 20 minutes immersed in warm water at around 37oC dilates your blood vessels and improves circulation, which helps move inflammatory substances away from the joints, muscles and tendons.

Combining this heat with pulsating hot tub jets is the perfect recipe to relax your muscles, stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller.

This all contributes to the fact hot tub hydrotherapy exercise boosts recovery rates after exercise and reduces fatigue, as studies have shown.

Today’s advanced hot tubs are even fitted with powerful massage jets that can replicate the petrissage (kneading, knuckling and wringing), effleurage (gentle, flowing strokes), and tapotement (rhythmic tapping using the edges of the hands) strokes a professional masseuse would use to relieve your muscle tension. View our dedicated hot tub jet section to see how hot tub jets work.

This makes hot tub hydrotherapy the perfect way to recover after a workout and alleviate the soreness of everyday aches and pains.

Manage diabetes and heart disease

Photo © Aquavia Spa

A 2008 study discovered that hot tubs’ effect on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure is “comparable to those of exercise training”.

And a follow-up study revealed that regularly hot tub use is “a promising and inexpensive tool for the treatment of obesity and diabetes”.

While a soak in the spa certainly shouldn’t be used as replacement for diet, exercise, and medication when it comes to managing type-2 diabetes or heart disease, it’s certainly a great tool for regulating your heart rate and blood sugar levels.

Minimise the pain of arthritis

Photo © Jacuzzi

Good news for anyone who suffers from arthritis: relaxing in a hot tub is proven to provide temporary relief from arthritic joint pain.

A study of the effects of hydrotherapy on people with severe arthritis found that it reduced pain more effectively than drug therapy.

Another study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated that hydrotherapy reduced pain, tension, and joint tenderness.

Hydrotherapy is also recommended by Arthritis Research UK, and its benefits are recognised by the Arthritis Foundation

While hot tubs don’t cure your arthritis, they’re a proven way to get temporary relief from the chronic pain it causes. View more hot tub benefits for arthritis sufferers in our recent guide.

Better cardiovascular health

A daily dip in a hot tub can keep your heart healthy.

The heat raises your heart rate, which helps regulate your blood pressure.

In fact, a 2016 study revealed that “lifelong sauna use reduces cardiovascular‐related and all‐cause mortality” and concluded that using a hot tub regularly “could be a viable treatment for improving cardiovascular health”.

Using a home spa for as little as ten minutes a day can lower your blood pressure according to research, meaning that every time you hop in a hot tub you’re getting a cardiovascular boost

Relief from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia

As with arthritis, a study of the effects of hydrotherapy on fibromyalgia patients showed that hydrotherapy helped improve subjects’ physical functionality, sleep quality, and the ability to do their jobs, while also reducing pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness, anxiety, and depression.

Relief from headaches

Suffer from regular headaches?

Soaking in a hot tub dilates your blood vessels, encouraging blood flow and helping to reduce the build up of pressure in your head that’s causing the pain.

Taking the time to slow down, close your eyes, and relax – as well as get away from screens – will also help alleviate any headaches you have.

Clearer skin

Opt for a hot tub with MicroSilk® technology and relaxing in your spa will even stimulate collagen production, helping reduce wrinkles and leave you looking fresh.

Frequently asked questions

Is it okay to use the hot tub every day?

Using a hot tub has a whole host of proven benefits for your mind and body.

But can you overdo it?

Luckily, the best way to unlock the health benefits associated with hydrotherapy is to soak in you home spa every day – or at least every few days.

This is not only a great way to unwind at the end of the day and maybe catch up with your partner, but also to make sure you’re reaping one of the main hot tub benefits.

How long should you sit in a hot tub?

Generally speaking, it’s recommend you spend 20-30 minutes in your hot tub at one time, but you can extend your soak to 45 minutes if you lower the water temperature.

And you can always hop back in after a short break – just be sure to rehydrate.

Do hot tubs help you lose weight?

Because the heat of the water raises your heart rate, using your hot tub burns quite a few calories and therefore definitely helps you lose weight.

However, there’s unfortunately no such thing as “the hot tub diet”, and soaking in your home spa should be used as a complement to diet and exercise rather than a replacement for it if you’re looking to lose weight.

Summing up

Using a hot tub for just twenty minutes a day can unlock a whole host health benefits, from better sleep to relief from the symptoms of conditions like arthritis.

Get your free copy of WhatSpa? magazine for help picking the perfect hot tub for you and to start enjoying the boost it will bring to your health and wellbeing.

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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