And it’s even better with a glass of wine in hand! But studies are beginning to show that hot tubs provide more than just a good time. They provide tangible health benefits, both physical and mental. Here are some of the ways that relaxing in a hot tub can positively affect your body and mind.
When immersing yourself in hot water, the heat increases your body temperature and improves circulation by widening your blood vessels, which sends nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. This increased blood flow and circulation of white blood cells around the body allows lymph (which is an immune system fluid that helps get rid of unwanted toxins from the body) to be moved throughout the body more efficiently. This helps strengthen the immune system and can help fight off any illnesses. The improved circulation also helps heal injured tissues and rehabilitate damaged muscles or joints.
Warm water also decreases swelling and loosens tight muscles, leading to an improved range of motion and restored flexibility. This occurs because of water’s ability to create hydrostatic pressure (pressure caused by the weight of fluids), which reduces joint inflammation and aids mobility. And we all know how hot tubs can help ease pain and tension through the massage jets, which knead toxins from muscle fibers. Even more, the water’s buoyancy takes pressure off of your legs, feet and back, helping to relieve muscle tension and allowing joints to become more flexible and pliable. Soaking in a hot tub after an intense workout is the perfect way to aid in muscle recovery for the next day!
A dip in the hot tub can also improve your mental wellbeing by promoting relaxation and easing stress. Research has shown that the hot tubs can lead to an improved psychological and emotional state by slowing down the body’s reaction to anxiety and releasing endorphins – a natural stress fighter and mood booster.
Having trouble sleeping? Try spending a few minutes in a hot tub to bring on that much-needed night’s rest. In a study of older females suffering from insomnia, the results showed that soaking in hot water before bedtime contributes to a deeper, more restful and more continuous sleep. The hot water helps to reduce stress and anxiety and relax nerves and muscles, making it easier to fall asleep.
Yes, you read that right! Relaxing in a hot tub for 30 minutes can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk and produces similar anti-inflammatory and blood sugar responses. In a study from 2017, participants were either assigned to an hour-long session of cycling or an hour-long session in a 104-degree bath. The scientists discovered that both groups were better able to control their blood sugar levels in the 24 hours immediately following the activities ― and the bathers perhaps were even better off: Their peak blood sugar levels after eating following their soak were approximately 10 percent lower than the peak blood sugar levels of those who exercised. I don’t know about you, but sitting in a hot bath for an hour sounds a lot easier than cycling!