Anyone who’s spent just 10 minutes soaking their cares away in a spa can tell you that there’s more to hot tubs than fun and entertainment — after a long day, a hot tub session can feel downright therapeutic.
But what does science have to say about it?
Turns out, hot tubs have a multitude of benefits. They can:
- Cause your skin to release endorphins.
- Help to loosen joints, reduce pain and support aching limbs.
- Relieve everyday or exercise-induced muscle pain.
- Promote blood flow.
- Relax tight muscles.
- Help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Promote healthier, younger-looking skin.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the proven benefits of hot tubs.
That feeling of bliss that washes over you after a few minutes in a hot tub isn’t just your imagination.
As New York-based dermatologist Dr. Bobby Buka told Healthline, “your skin releases endorphins in response to the soothing warm water the same way that endorphins are released when you feel the sun on your skin.”
Endorphins are natural brain chemicals that are released in response to certain activities, like exercising, eating or getting a massage. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler, “with high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.”
Every time you take a dip in a hot tub, your body will begin automatically releasing endorphins, resulting in a near-instantaneous reduction in stress.
Relaxation and Pain Relief
What do arthritis, stiff joints, fibromyalgia, sore muscles and back pain have in common? All five are no match for the soothing effects of a hot tub.
As the Arthritis Foundation explains, warm water therapy loosens the joints, reduces pain and offers 360-degree support for aching limbs. Plus, those benefits don’t disappear once you get out of the hot tub, either — a soak in warm water can improve overall pain levels even after the soak.
Even if you don’t have arthritis, fibromyalgia or any other specific condition, warm water can provide relief from everyday or exercise-induced muscle pain. According to Medical News Today: “Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, promote blood flow and help sore and tightened muscles relax.”
The next time you’re feeling sore, stiff or achy, head for the hot tub — chances are, you’ll get the relief you’re looking for.
There’s a reason that some people swear by taking a warm bath before bed. Add the massaging jets and ambient lighting of a hot tub and you have a true recipe for a good night’s sleep.
A study conducted at the Kyushu Institute of Design in Japan found that bathing before bed results in improved sleep sensations. Even subjects who only soaked their feet in hot water enjoyed better sleep than those who didn’t.
The study also found that bathing before bed results in earlier sleep onset, meaning that after a soak in the hot tub, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and experience a more restful slumber.
Turns out that you don’t have to take a daily run to enjoy the cosmetic benefits of exercise.
According to HowStuffWorks; “… the process of perspiring itself causes your pores to open up as the sweat makes its way through layers of skin to the surface.”
So, the mild perspiration you feel after soaking in a hot tub for a few minutes can make it easier for your skin to release any trapped dirt or oil — just make sure to wash your face afterward to clear away those impurities and avoid irritation. As an added bonus, sweat has also been found to have natural antibiotic properties, and thus can help to kill bacteria on the skin’s surface.
The steam from a hot tub can benefit your skin, too: Healthline revealed that steam can boost circulation, promote the production of collagen and elastin and naturally moisturize the face.
Translation: A relaxing soak in the hot tub can result in glowing, firmer, younger-looking skin. Just be aware that any skin submerged in your hot tub’s water may be drier than usual at the end of your soaking session, especially if you use chlorine, so be sure to moisturize afterwards.
Hot tubs are beloved for more than their numerous health benefits: They also offer an endless supply of entertainment and fun, whether you’re enjoying drinks with friends or warming up après-ski.
Try opening up your hot tub to guests during a pool party, inviting friends to take a soak on a cold day, bringing out the TV or projector to enjoy an aquatic movie night or playing games with the family.
Whether you’re looking to relieve pain, reduce stress, improve your skin, get a better night’s sleep or just have fun, a hot tub can do it all.