Wondering what are the benefits of a hot tub? While it’s been proven that these popular forms of hydrotherapy have the ability to relax your mind, body and soul – hot tubs also have the ability to do so much more.
Nowadays the best hot tubs (opens in new tab) can aid with recovery, ease aches and pains and even have beneficial impacts on your cardiovascular health. Some researchers believe that a dip in the warm water could also promote better sleep. And the best inflatable hot tubs (opens in new tab) and the best swim spas (opens in new tab) are no different.
To discover some of the lesser-known health benefits of hot tubs (opens in new tab), as well as some of the more ordinary hot tub benefits, we turned to science to find out more. If you needed even more reasons to invest in a hot tub – keep scrolling. You might just discover that these slices of relaxation really are the gifts that keep on giving.
1. You can sleep easier after a soak
According to research, taking a long warm soak in a hot tub could help you catch some ZZZs. One study (opens in new tab) that looked at insomnia in older adults found that hot bathing sessions like being immersed in water 40-41ºC for 30 minutes in the evening brought with it many benefits. This included promoting a deeper sleep and quicker slumbers.
Meanwhile, a second study (opens in new tab) confirms this with researchers concluding: “Water-based passive body heating of 40-42.5°C was associated with both improved self-rated sleep quality and sleep efficiency, and when scheduled one to two hours before bedtime for as little as 10 minutes there was significant shortening of sleep onset latency.”
2. Potential to improve cardiovascular health
Hot water immersion, such as taking a dip in the hot tub, has been praised for being able to lower blood pressure. In one 2016 study (opens in new tab), which looked at passive heat therapy in sedentary humans, researchers found that hot water immersion can have ‘widespread and robust effects on vascular function’.
Researchers even said that this type of immersion could be a ‘viable treatment option’ for improving cardiovascular health in a variety of patients – especially for those with limited exercise tolerance and/or capabilities.
3. It’s a stress reliever
Nowadays, some of the best hot tubs come with all the extras. Think: mood lighting, jet streams and handy pillow supports to rest your tired and weary head.
And thanks to the soothing effect of the warm water, it’s long been proven that hot tubs have the potential to ease stress levels. And it’s easy to see why. But how does this work?
According to one scientist (opens in new tab), the sympathetic nervous system (which increases when you are under stress) and the parasympathetic nervous system (which helps your body to calm down) performs a balancing act when you soak in warm water, helping to bring your stress levels down and your relaxation levels up.
4. Relax your muscles
Along with being able to destress your mind and body, hot tubs can also relax your sore and achy muscles.
Heat therapy has long been used by athletes to warm up sore or tired muscles. When you do so – like by immersing yourself in warm water – your blood vessels get bigger. This act allows for more nutrients, blood and oxygen to be delivered to the areas that are in pain. The result? Better circulation and more relaxation for your muscles and joints. It’s a win win.
5. It can help with pain
But there’s more. Warm water therapy has been recommended by The Arthritis Foundation thanks to the many benefits it can bring.
According to the foundation (opens in new tab): “If you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, arthritis, or lower back pain, try heating things up. Soaking in warm water or applying a heated compress is one of the oldest, cheapest, and safest forms of complementary therapy. Research has shown that heat treatments can loosen stiff joints and relieve achy muscles.”
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