Think of Your Health!
The health benefits of regular use of hot tubs or saunas are similar. Ancient peoples who lived near hot springs have always known of these benefits. Romans institutionalized the hot soaking bath more than two thousand years ago, and the Japanese custom of deep tub soaking is well known. Finns perfected the sauna many years ago and swear by their benefits. You can really feel better with regular use of heat on your body. Following are summaries of research that explains these benefits.
Health Benefits of Hot Tub Use.
Startling research shows that both the body and the mind benefit from immersion in warm water. Far from an extravagance, according to scientists, soaking in a bath, hot spring, or hot tub should be a routine health-enhancing practice, as it was in ancient Rome and is in Japan. [Following summarized from Hot Water and Healthy Living, by Prof. J.B. Smith, Ed. D.]
By increasing circulation and blood supply to the muscles, regular hot water immersion:
- Improves healing of wounds and injuries and relieves pain
- Decreases swelling in legs and feet
- Reduces weight on joints, allowing therapeutic water exercise
- Increases joint mobility and flexibility with arthritic conditions
By increasing blood flow to the heart, regular hot water immersion:
- Causes the heart to increase output, just as during exercise
- Often reduces blood presssure.
Regular water immersion causes relaxation by:
- Releasing dopamine, a stress-reducing hormone. This helps the body relax after the stress has passed. Long term stress is unhealthy and has been linked to many causes of disease and death.
- Relieving the pain that comes from over-exercise. An hour in the tub after working all day in the garden may even prevent the soreness and stiffness you would other experience.
- Giving you a comforting space to view the horizon, or observe the stars, or talk with your loved ones, away from the phone and the TV.
Health Benefits of Sauna Use
[summarized from www.finnleo.com]
Under high heat, the body releaes endorphins -- the body's natural pain relieving chemical. Endorphins can have a mild and enjoyable tanquilizing effect and the ability to ease the pain for arthritis, or muscle soreness from an intense physical workout.
Body temperature rises from the heat of the sauna, causing blood vessles to dilate and circulation to increase. The increased blood flow accelerate's the body 's natural healing process, soothing aches and pains and speeding up the healing of cuts and bruises.
Following sporting activity, the heat and steam of a sauna promotes muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and elminate lactic acid and other toxins.
According to medical research, stress in our every day lives adversely affects our helath, contributing to many diseases. Stress relief is the #1 most commonly cited benefit of suana use.
Induces deeper sleep.
Research shows that a deeper sleep can result from sauna use. When body temperature rises in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep.
Recreational and social benefits.
A sauna is the perfect peaceful place for privacy, quiet conversation and socializing with family and friends.
Flushes Toxins and Cleanses Skin.
Deep sweating has multiple health benefits. It can help reduce levels of lead, coper, zinc, nickel and mercury, toxins picked up from our environment. At the same time, bacteria is rinsed out of the epidemanl layer, and your skin is cleansed, giving the skin a soft, beautiful appearance.
Improves cardiovascular performance.
As the sauna heats the skin, blood vessels dilate and your heart rate increases, simlar to moderate exercise. Regular use improves cardiac outpout and improves the regulatory system.
According to U.S. Army medical research, "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process."
Fights illnes and relieves congestion.
German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduced the incidence of colds and influenza, by producing white blood cells more rapidly.
It feels good!
When your overall sense of well-being improves, you can take on life with more resiliency and serenity.
Hot Tub Safety Comes First!
• Try not to be alone in the hot tub. If you are in the spa alone, make sure someone responsible in the household is aware that you are in the tub and how long you have been in.
• Do not use the hot tub if you have a serious medical condition without discussing it with your doctor first.
• Pregnant women and the elderly should also consult their doctor before using a hot tub.
• No alcohol or drugs. Your judgment might be impaired and you could become unconscious and drown.
• Do not use a hot tub if you are taking any medication that makes your drowsy or affects your circulation. If necessary, check with your doctor.
• Be aware of the amount of time you have been in the tub. Soaking in the warm water can raise your body temperature to dangerous levels. 15 minutes in water no warmer than 104 degrees Fahrenheit is considered safe.
• Soaking in the warm water can dehydrate you, which could lead to nausea, dizziness, or fainting. Take breaks from your hot tub and drink water before getting back in.
• Do not allow underwater swimming or diving. Hair can get drawn into the drains and caught, causing drowning.
• No glass containers for food or drink in or around the hot tub.
• People with cuts or external infections should not use the spa.
• No electrical appliances in or close to your hot tub.
• Be careful about slipping when you get out of the hot tub. A non-skid surface is ideal for the area around your tub. Another way to avoid slipping is to provide handholds for getting into and out of the hot tub.
• Be sure to check the temperature of the water before you enter the spa. A floating thermometer is very useful. If you want the water warm, keep the temperature between 100-104 degrees.
• Be sure you have a proper cover for your hot tub and keep it on and locked any time your spa is not in use.
• Post safety rules by your pool and point them out to anyone using your hot tub for the first time. Never assume that anyone getting into your hot tub is aware of the possible dangers and knows how to safely use your spa.