For many people, hot tubs boost physical and mental health by doing the following:

Relieves stress

Ironically, hot water can help you chill. Some studies have shown that immersing yourself in hot water could relieve stress and decrease depression symptoms.

Hot tubbing probably isn’t going to cure mental health problems. But a hot soak gives you some time to relax and unwind, so go ahead and enjoy it without guilt.

Manages muscle aches

A quick dip in the tub may be just what you need for muscle pain. A hot tub makes sore, tired muscles feel better because:

  • Heat increases blood flow and helps loosen tense muscles.
  • Buoyancy (floating) in water takes the pressure off joints.
  • Immersing your body in water could help prevent muscle damage from exercise.

Don’t stay in the hot water for more than 15 minutes, though. Using a hot tub for too long could send too much blood flow to your muscles, which can lead to swelling.

Helps heart health

If you regularly hot tub or take hot baths, your heart may thank you. One study found that people who took more frequent hot baths were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Lowers blood pressure

Soaking in hot water widens your blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can help you relax, but the effects are only temporary. Your blood pressure returns to normal a few minutes after you get out of the tub. 

But if you already have low blood pressure (hypotension), the hot water could be too much. People who already have low blood pressure should avoid soaks that are much hotter than body temperature. Their blood pressure could drop to dangerously low levels.

But if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), hot tubs are likely safe and could be beneficial.

Improves your sleep

If you have trouble nodding off at night, a hot tub could help. The muscle-relaxing, mood-boosting effects of hot water can help you soak the day away and prepare you for sleep. You also experience a change in your body temperature that tells your body it’s time for dreamland.

Your body temperature changes throughout the day and naturally dips when you approach bedtime. So, heating up in a hot tub — and then cooling off — encourages the drop in temperature that happens before you fall asleep.

But don’t wait until bedtime to slip into the tub. Give your body time to cool back down, or you won’t feel tired. Get out of the tub about 90 minutes before you plan to go to bed.

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