Hot Water and Healthy Living | Families
When you step into a hot tub, the calming effects of the warm water are felt almost instantly. Your muscles relax and stress seems to slip away. Many people use hot water immersion as a way to relieve stress and pain, and improve their overall health. A number of doctors and physical therapist recommend water therapy, especially warm water therapy, for their patients. With more than 5 million hot tubs in the United States, many people can enjoy the benefits of hot water therapy, or immersion, from the comfort of their own homes.
“Many of our spa customers are startled by how much better they feel physically and mentally after spending time in a spa. A lot of people think of hot tubs as an escape from cold weather but they are much more than that,” said Talia Halbeck from Design Pool & Spa.
Design Pool & Spa shares the information gathered by the National Swimming Pool Foundation, which highlights some of the benefits of hot water immersion:
Healing- Healing happens faster when blood flow to the injured area is increased. Water immersion has been shown to help in the healing of muscles and joint injuries. Performing therapy in water is often less painful. Water is commonly used in physical therapy and rehabilitation.
· Immersion increases circulation. When muscles are warmed and the body is immersed, the blood supply to the area muscles increases. More blood flow means more nutrients to help cells regenerate in order to speed the healing process.
· When a person is immersed, water exerts pressure on the body, which tends to reduce swelling. Feet and ankles are less likely to swell in water than on land.
· Exercising in water reduces pressure on joints. Numerous studies show increased range of motion and decreased pain when therapeutic exercise is performed in water.
· Water immersion is good for people with arthritis, knee, hip or other joint problems. Immersion in warm water increases joint mobility, reduces joint stiffness, and increases flexibility and range of motion.
When we get in the water our heart stretches like it does during exercise. During immersion, the water exerts pressure on all parts of the body, including the arteries and veins. The water’s pressure on our arms and legs pushes blood toward the chest cavity, increasing blood flow to the heart by about one-third. When we are in the water our heart pumps more blood per beat. The arteries expand working against the water pressure to allow higher blood volume to move throughout the body. Blood moves more easily throughout the body and circulation may be improved.
Hot water and relaxation
Water pressure and warm temperatures help our bodies release hormones that help us relax and improve our mood. Immersion in hot water helps our body relax by allowing the parasympathetic branch to reverse the effects of the sympathetic branch. Dopamine, a hormone that causes relaxation, is released when a person is in warm water.