Hot tubs have unfairly been on the non-U list for too long but find an Airbnb with a hot tub, and you’ll have it booked because we all know is there is nothing quite as delicious as immersing yourself in warm water. Let it be a guilty pleasure no more. You may have heard about the benefits of cold-water therapy but let’s be honest, plunging into the icy depths is a daunting thought in January. Which brings us nicely to the first benefit of hot tubs:
Any time, year-round, all-weather use
Unlike going for a swim (either wild or pool), getting into a hot tub requires little in the form of preparation or recuperation. No need to pack a bag or grab shampoo. No thoughts of having to wrangle a dry robe or scrabble for a locker key. No need to check opening and closing times. A hot tub is always ready for you, and – with lights and heat – inclement weather need be no deterrent whether you have one indoors or outside.
Spending time in water heated just above body temperature will induce perspiration which is the body’s way of eliminating impurities and flushing out any water retention. A good sweat is a good detox. Not only that, but warm water soothes. As any decent osteopath will tell you, the best way to treat an injury is to alternate cool and heat and this is because each has its function. Whilst cold water is recognised to reduce inflammation and boost circulation (making it good for cardiovascular health), warm water equally has a part to play. A study in 2018 undertaken by Amy Elizabeth Harwood, Research Fellow (Clinical and Exercise Sciences), Charles James Steward, PhD Candidate and Tom Cullen, Research Fellow (Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences), all at Coventry University, found the physical effects through water immersion were similar to those induced by exercise, namely elevated temperature and a discernible elevation in heart rate. They compared these effects in two target groups: one undergoing moderate intensity cycling and the other lounging about in a hot tub and found that, broadly speaking, the two were comparable. There were also similar increases in blood flow. Obviously, energy expenditure is required to build muscle mass and burn off fat so don’t take this as a green light to swap your gym shoes for pool sliders, but it’s nonetheless a compelling argument.
Not only does the water’s warmth help ease joint and muscle pain, but unlike a bath a hot tub is guaranteed to maintain a constant temperature for as long as you need. You’ll also reap the reward of that glorious feeling of weightlessness as there is no gravity in water. Moreover, with a hot tub you’re also getting a treatment: jets are placed in optimal positions to offer the equivalent of a full body massage, whenever you want one.
As anyone who has had experience of chronic pain will attest, the impact on our mental health of sustaining physical pain can be gruelling. Just as a hot tub soothes your body, it can also relax your mind. Spending time in a hot tub releases endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Regular use is thought to help alleviate depression and has been found to encourage better and deeper sleep.
Oxygen facials are known to increase hydration and help minimise the appearance of lines and wrinkles. They’re famous for giving back the glow to tired skin. Imagine what oxygen could therefore do for your body. Enter Marquis Spa: their MicroSilk feature includes jets have been calibrated to release microbubbles of oxygen which envelope the body before dissolving onto the skin, the effect of which stimulates circulation and cell respiration. Skin is left radiant.
Finally, the social benefits
Perhaps best of all, a hot tub is a fun and relaxing way to spend time with your nearest and dearest. Think of it as a phone-free zone and you’ll understand why they are so popular with parents of older children and teens. And, of course, for entertaining. Pop the prosecco (responsibly) and indulge in the luxury (fondue optional).
If you’re tempted to invest, #shoplocal. The award-winning Hot Tubs Oxfordshire in Bicester has been run by Carla and Kenny since 2016 and has a comprehensive range of models plus loads of expert advice and friendly support.