Hot tubs have been one of the favourite little luxuries for our homes for years, but after a 276% increase in sales during 2020, there are now around 25,000 hot tubs now being sold every year, as well as 250,000 portable ones, too. Hot tubs boast a range of uses and benefits, used for everything from entertaining to hydrotherapy, but in case you’re considering your purchase and need some convincing, here are the top ten benefits of a hot tub.

Reduce stress and anxiety

Anyone will tell you about the immediate release and relaxation that they feel when stepping into a hot tub and sinking into the water. 

Soaking in hot water activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. Allowing your body to float into this state allows the muscles to loosen off, too, reducing stress in the body and mind, as well as feelings of anxiety. 

When we feel anxious, our body is in our fight or flight mode, which can leave us feeling short of breath and panicked. In turn, our body tenses up, so it is much like a chicken and the egg situation! 

The hot water that is in a hot tub releases this tension, and signals to our body that it can relax, and so is a useful and enjoyable way to reduce stress and anxiety in the body.

If you’re looking for that extra added touch, try some aromatherapy oils (make sure they’re hot tub safe!) – lavender oil or sandalwood oil are both good choices for stress and anxiety. 

Increased circulation 

Soaking in the tub increases blood circulation throughout the body, as the heat of the water opens up the blood vessels. Poor circulation occurs when the body struggles to pump the blood round effectively, and can cause pain and numbness, as well as fatigue in the body and swelling. While hot tubs are not a long-term solution for poor circulation, it can be an effective solution for short-term relief.

Time in the tub has also been documented to lower blood pressure. Please consult a medical professional before using a hot tub to help with your circulation.

Improve social connection

Time spent together, conversing and chatting, away from devices and distractions. Sounds idyllic, right? Spending time in the hot tub with friends is a unique experience, because we don’t have phones or other dopamine-drivers in our line of sight. You can lose an hour in deep conversation and it feels like five minutes, and the warmth of the water combined with the hydrotherapy puts everyone in a more relaxed state, so you can chat, connect, and make memories night after night.

Manage symptoms of arthritis

Arthritis can be incredibly painful due to inflammation around the joints and difficult in blood flow. Many medical sources have documented the benefits that hot tubs have on arthritis and the pain relief that they can provide. While a hot tub can not prevent or cure the pain or symptoms, they offer temporary pain relief that is effective and comforting; The warming of the joints and muscles allows for a wider range of movement that can help with mobility issues that come with the condition, and these in turn can have wellbeing and mental health benefits, too.

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Increased quality of sleep

The warm temperature of the water calms your mind and relaxes your body, signalling that it is time for sleep and your body can start to unwind, letting your mind take a break from whatever the day has held for you, too. The combination of the jets and heat allows the muscles to relax, releasing tension and preparing you for the perfect night’s sleep.

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Hydrotherapy on tap

Hydrotherapy is known for offering proven pain relief and a reduction in swelling, whether that is for those suffering from chronic pain, recovering from injury, or taking it easy after a big workout. 

Hot tubs offer an accessible form of hydrotherapy that is readily available, which combines the heat of the water with the massage of the jets, which can be used to release muscle tension and inflammation in the body. 

Hydrotherapy is a form of therapy recommended by medical professionals, and prescribed for a range of ailments and conditions ranging from muscle pain and stiffness in the body, and offers temporary relief.

Faster recovery

The wellness world is quick to talk about the benefits of cold water therapy, and we can’t argue with them, but hot water has its place when talking about workout recovery and healing. 

Hot water relaxes the muscles in the body, and this is particularly good in the days following intense exercise. Whether you’re a runner or a weightlifter, into ultras or HIIT, hot water therapy in the form of a session in the hot tub can increase circulation and reduce spasm or strain in the muscles, as well as reducing physical stress in the body.

So, you might choose an ice bath directly after your training session, but in the days after, hot water therapy is a brilliant aid for your recovery. 

However, if you have a specific strain or ache in the body from your training, beyond your normal post-workout feelings, hot water can soothe these feelings in the body, and is most effective an hour after working out

If you’re looking to add some activity into your rest day, then a session in the hot tub could be the perfect thing to put into your schedule, offering hydrotherapy and relaxation.

Connection with nature

Of course there are plenty of physical benefits, but spending time in an outdoor hot tub gives you the time and opportunity to connect with nature in a way that you might not usually. You won’t be scrolling on your phone, so instead you can notice the sights and sounds around you in the natural world. You can even try to notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you to further connect and appreciate your setting and surroundings. 

Reduce inflammation

The heat of the water and the gentle bubble of the tub helps to reduce inflammation in the body, by offering relief through the joints and muscles. The temperature of the water reduces swelling and any build up of fluids that you might have in your joints, which can cause pain and mobility issues. This combined with the weightless feeling of being in a hot tub, means you can enjoy periods of reduced inflammation and reduced pain when you soak in a hot tub. You can read more about the health benefits in this research piece here.

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The bathing benefits 

Spending time in hot water has a range of benefits, but some of the most interesting are ones that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. 

Bathing in hot water actually improves your breathing, this is because the hot water adds gentle pressure to the chest which has to work harder to expand and contract, meaning you improve your breathing capacity in the long run. 

Another benefit is that it increases the blood flow to the skin, which happens because of the moisture and the heat combined. Skin blood flow is important for a lot of reasons but some of the most notable are for maintaining body temperature and also nutrition within the body. These two things can make us both feel better and look better, which is why you might feel like your skin has a glow or tightness to it when you have soaked in the tub (excluding pruney fingers!) as the nutrients have flowed to the skin surface. 

Hot water bathing is also a mood-boosting activity, releasing dopamine in the body that is responsible for our feelings of happiness. Spending regular time in the tub bathing can leave you feeling well-rested, rejuvenated, and with lower stress levels all around.

Whatever your reason for getting a hot tub, these are just a handful of the benefits you can get from a regular soak in the tub. Happy hot tubbing!