Conquer the Winter Blues with Hydrotherapy At Home

Exercise and relaxation can lift your spirits during the long winter months. Hydrotherapy is a centuries-old method used to improve  mental and physical well-being — the CDC reports that water exercise is beneficial for people with chronic conditions such as arthritis as well as for mood and mental health.

But, getting out to the gym or to the spa can be a struggle to schedule. Recently, there have been many closures and changes due to the pandemic, or those icy cold mornings can make it hard to get out in the morning. This year, skip the gym membership and create your own at-home workout and spa space with a swim spa or hot tub. A hot tub or swim spa can upgrade your backyard or finished basement space, to make relaxing and exercising easy for the whole family. Here are tips for creating your own home gym and spa:

Select Your Vessel

Is a hot tub or swim spa better suited to your wellness needs? A hot tub is optimal for hydrotherapy, with high temperatures and jets that can help with stress relief and muscle relaxation. You can also do light workouts in the hot tub, but if exercise is your goal, a swim spa may be the right choice. Swim spas are larger, allowing for more movement like lunges, rowing, aerobics, crunches, and even swimming laps.

You’ll need to consider the location, maintenance plan, and budget before making your choice and building your space. Read here for more information about hot tubs and swim spas, and how to decide what’s right for you.

Build A Workout Plan

If you’re not already into water aerobics or swimming laps at your local pool, find which exercises are right for you to meet your goals. For your home gym or spa time, set a schedule for your workouts so you can prepare the hot tub or swim spa, like heating up the hot tub in the morning for exercise and again in the evening for a soak. Picking days and times will help keep you on track and on schedule, to get the most physical and mental benefit.

Create Ambiance

Create a calming space for your at-home spa days. Set up lighting around your hot tub or swim spa, you can add outdoor lights or maybe colored lighting inside the vessel. Add scented candles in the room – away from the hot tub – or an essential oil diffuser. Make sure to find a space to store the equipment you need, such as noodles or weights for swim spa workouts and towels and a hamper nearby.

Keep the It Clean and Ready for Anything

Hot tub water and sweat from swimming laps in a swim spa can make cleaning and maintenance a challenge. The chemicals need to be balanced regularly to prevent bacteria that can cause hot tub rash. Technology can make managing a home gym or spa easy: The pHin Smart Water Monitor helps you keep water in balance by taking measurements, sending alerts, and guiding you through custom chemical dosing instructions.

Learn more about pHin at phin.co.

It’s Time to Build Your Winter Fitness Plan

Spice up your fitness routine to get active and stay healthy all winter long. A swim spa, hot tub, or indoor pool will be your new favorite spot for exercising for an intense, full-body workout with low impact on your joints.

If you’re considering adding water to your exercise routine and want to add a hot tub or pool to your home, the pHin team is here to help you get started:

The Benefits of Water Workouts

Water offers resistance, making exercises in the pool or swim spa more challenging without additional equipment. Aquatic exercises are beneficial for a full-body workout to build muscle and boost cardio endurance.

Seniors and those with chronic conditions can also benefit from aquatic exercises that can help to soothe with frequent joint and muscle pain from. The water buoyancy is gentle and low impact to reduce the stress on joints. Some exercises use foam “weights,” but many can be done with no extra equipment!

Set Your Goals

As you plan your aquatic workouts, decide which part of the body you would like to focus on. Are you looking to build muscle in your arms and core, or do you want to increase your cardio endurance? Tailor your exercise plan to fit your personal needs whether that be strength or cardio training.

If you want to increase overall cardio endurance, consider walking or jogging in the water. Swim spa owners can take advantage of their system’s water resistance feature, and some swim spas even allow them to swim “laps.” In an indoor pool owner, you can walk or jog back and forth across the pool and increase muscle with arm and leg raises, pushups against the wall, butterfly kicks, and other routines that require more space.

Stay Safe

Using your indoor pool or swim spa as your exercise routine can put you on the path to achieving fitness goals, big or small. As you build your aquatic exercise plan, check with your doctor to make sure the plan is acceptable for you. You should always wear water shoes in the water to prevent yourself from slipping during your workout. It’s important to pay attention to your body as you are exercising: because you’re working out in the water, you may not realize how tired and sweaty you become, so it’s important to stay hydrated.

Safety equipment is important, but don’t forget the water quality. Especially in hot water where you’ll be sweating, the water must be well maintained to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Choosing a pool workout doesn’t have to add more work, you can easily use the pHin Smart Water Monitor to keep the water balanced and safe. From the app, you can simply check if the water is safe before each workout. And it’ll keep your water in-shape with water testing and simple chemical dosing instructions.

Happy exercising!

Hot Tub or Swim Spa, What’s the Difference?

Are you looking to upgrade your backyard for entertaining and relaxing this winter? A hot tub or swim spa might be the perfect addition to your home!

Many homeowners assume hot tubs and swim spas are similar, but there are different benefits to each system. The pHin experts share factors to consider before deciding between a hot tub or a swim spa for your backyard oasis.

  1. Purpose for Purchase

Are you looking for a new place to relax or a space to entertain and exercise? Hot tubs are designed with seating and jet placement for optimal relaxation and recovery. Whether you’re feeling stressed or you’re looking for muscle relief after a tough workout, hot tubs are a great place for practicing hydrotherapy. Soaking in warm hot tub water helps loosen tense muscles and stimulates blood supply to various organs in the body.

Swim spas, on the other hand, are more spacious and are a better fit for people who are looking for a place to exercise with more space to move around, you can even swim in a swim spa.  Exercising in swim spa water has many benefits. The resistance from the water will result in more calories burned and aquatic exercises are low impact taking pressure off joints which is ideal for users recovering from an injury or are concerned about potential injury risk. Swim spas are larger than hot tubs making them a good spot for hosting a larger group of friends or family.

  1. Location, Location, Location

Before you make a purchase, start planning the new home for your hot tub or swim spa. The space available inside or in your backyard can determine which system is the best for your home. Are you looking to put the system in the yard or on your deck? Hot tubs are more compact, they can fit on a deck or in a small yard, whereas swim spas are longer and require a larger area. For reference, most swim spas are around 180 inches long and 90 inches wide whereas the average size of a hot tub is about 84 inches long and 84 inches wide. You may also want to consider placement in terms of trees, to allocate enough space with the least amount of possible debris getting into the water.

  1. Maintenance

Because they’re larger, swim spa maintenance is generally more complex than hot tub maintenance. Measuring, chemicals, and dosing can be a challenge but pHin is here to help! The pHin Smart Water Monitor floats in your hot tub or swim spa, measuring the water over 1,000 times per week If the water gets out of balance, pHin will notify you in the app and give you instructions to correct it. You could also ask pHin (or Alexa) for the temperature of your hot tub or swim spa water before heading out for a dip. Whether you’re maintaining hot tub or swim spa water, it can be frustrating when you go out for a post-workout soak or you’re prepping for a night with friends and the water isn’t at the right temperature. This pHin user shares how pHin helped him get his hot tub relaxation ready.

  1. Budget

Once you have a set budget, consider the size of the vessel. Swim spas tend to be more expensive than hot tubs because they are generally larger in size with more features including swim current and high-powered jetting systems. Or, a basic hot tub might suit your needs, and can be more economical.

Before you purchase a new hot tub or swim spa, consider which system is the best solution for your family. Swim spas may suit a family who is looking for a place to get active, go for a swim, and entertain groups of family and friends and hot tubs are a good solution for those who want a place to relax and loosen muscle tension. Make the most of your swim spa or hot tub with the help of pHin.

Maximizing A Hot Tub for Post-Workout Recovery

Working out is good for your health and it can also boost your mood. To get the most out of physical activity, it’s important to wind down and stretch afterward to prevent achy, tired muscles. According to some new research, heat plays an important role in post-exercise recovery.

The benefits of heating muscles and blood makes recovering after a workout more efficient. The heat helps initiate the healing process, increases blood flow and, best of all, relaxes your muscles. Whether you run, spend a day on the slopes, attend a yoga class, or lift weights at the gym, a hot tub or swim spa soak can help relax those aching muscles. The warm water helps you — and your muscles — relax but the jets can also be used to target specific areas of extreme soreness.

If you already use a hot tub or are considering adding a hot tub to post-workout recovery, the water and equipment need to be kept in good condition. One of the best ways to extend the life of your tub is to keep it clean. Remember to shower before you enter the hot tub, because water balance can be easily thrown off from sweat and dirt. You don’t want to be stressed about the dangers of algae, or other factors that can cause a rash from unbalanced hot tub water.

For that post-workout relaxation, you need to be confident that your water is clean and safe for soaking at any time. You don’t have to worry about trying to get it balanced after exhausting yourself from a workout with smart water monitoring solution like pHin can help you know at-a-glance that your hot tub is properly balanced. pHin tracks your hot tub water quality, measuring your pH, sanitizer, and temperature over 1,000 times per week. It also notifies you when your water is out of balance and provides dosing recommendations of the chemicals you need to make it safe to use, ensuring that your hot tub is ready to help rejuvenate your body after any workout.

Recovery is as important as a good workout. A hot tub can help you unwind after a workout and make your muscles feel great and ready for your next session.

Healthier and Happier: 3 Ways A Pool Can Help You Reach New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the time of year to start thinking about resolutions for the New Year. Many are taking the wellness track this year, or making resolutions inspired by what you believe will make you healthier and happier.

Usually, our resolutions are ambitious, ranging from losing a few pounds with diet and exercise to writing a novel, learning to play the guitar, or backpacking through Thailand. Often, our best efforts last a few weeks and taper off. But pool owners are lucky – there are four simple ways to achieve wellness in the New Year:

1. Exercise

If you have weight loss, fitness, and healthy lifestyle goals, your pool can help you reach them. Set a schedule for swimming laps a few days a week: Swimming is a low-impact, full-body workout that improves muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and overall energy. The quiet rhythm of your strokes also provides peace of mind that can be meditative and rejuvenating. If swimming isn’t your thing, water aerobics offers many of the same benefits. It can even become a group activity for the family!

2. Enjoy

Make the resolution to enjoy your pool, spa, or hot tub more regularly. All too often, people get bogged down by life and perceived maintenance hassles and end up not soaking up all the fun and relaxation they work hard to get from their pool. Here are a few ways to take advantage:

●                   Take a dip with friends and family

●                   Relax on a lounge chair by the pool and read a book

●                   Host a pool wine night

●                   Invite friends over for hot tub games

●                   Plan a neighborhood pool party

●                   Enjoy a sunrise yoga session, poolside

3. Entertain

Most pool owners want to share the fun with their friends and family. Before you get busy opening your pool this spring, break out your calendar and plan a few weekends for small pool parties or mark down milestones like graduations, birthdays, Father’s Day, and other events for poolside fun with friends. Planning ahead will ensure things go smoothly, and you’ll have time to prepare all the fixings for a great time. Impromptu pool parties can be the most fun, so it’s a good idea to make sure your pool is always prepped and ready for a good time.

Enjoying your pool more shouldn’t come with more work. There are ways to make pool care more efficient, like a smart water monitor like pHin, which automatically measure your pool’s pH, sanitizer, and temperature over 1,000 times every week and guide you through making adjustments with the chemicals you choose. Devices like these make pool care more efficient, with less time spent reading charts and more time enjoying the water.

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, spending more time in your pool will certainly make the coming year healthier and happier.

Get Fit in Your Hot Tub

Get Fit in Your Hot Tub

The idea of using a swimming pool to get fit is well-known to pretty much anyone who’s ever heard of swimming. Less well-known, though, is the fact that you can use your hot tub for fitness, too. In fact, a spa’s warm, bubbling water creates the ideal environment to perform a variety of exercises to get fit in your hot tub. You get a low impact workout that’s easier on your joints and prevents injury while still improving muscle tone, flexibility, and promoting weight loss. And, the warmth of the water helps increase blood flow, further enhancing your workout.

Before beginning any exercise program, you should talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether your current fitness level supports your desired activity.

Squats

Squats help you build muscle over your entire body, raising your metabolism so that you burn calories more effectively. However, this exercise really targets your leg muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. In addition, you work your hips and buttocks, making this a great lower body workout.

To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, extend your arms in front of you, and lower your body by contracting your abdominal muscles, as though sitting down. Return to an upright position. Work your way toward completing three sets of 15 repetitions.

Water Cycling

Water cycling also works your legs, hips, and abdomen, and the resistance of the water really helps increase the effectiveness of this simple exercise. Start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you. Then, just move your legs as though pedaling a bicycle. Work your way toward three sets of 30 repetitions.

Calf Toning

If you’d like better tone and definition on your calves, simply stand flat on the bottom of your hot tub. Then, tighten your core and rise to stand on your toes, holding that position for three seconds before lowering yourself flat again. Your goal is completing three sets of 20 repetitions.

Shoulder Roll

To eliminate the stress and tension that typically grows in the shoulders, perform the shoulder roll. This exercise also helps improve joint mobility and circulation throughout the shoulders, neck, and torso. To perform the shoulder roll, stand straight and slowly roll your shoulders forward and back. Aim to complete three sets of 30 repetitions.

Trunk Twist

The trunk twist helps improve mobility by strengthening your oblique muscles. You may do these seated or standing, so long as your shoulders are submerged. Cross your arms over your chest, relax your shoulders, contract your abdominal muscles, and twist slowly from left to right, back to center, and then from right to left. Exhale on the twist and inhale during the twist back to center. Your goal is three sets of 30 twists.

Clapping

This is an extremely simple move that works muscles throughout your upper body, including chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. To perform the exercise, stand with your arms submerged under water. Extend your arms to the side, with your thumbs toward the sky and shoulders relaxed. Then, simply bring your hands together as though clapping, working to complete three sets of 30 repetitions.

Abdominal Workout

To strengthen and tighten your abdominal muscles, sit facing the center of your hot tub. Next, bring both knees to your chest and then extend both legs outward at the same time. Keep your back straight to get the most benefit, and do not allow your shoulders to lift upward toward your ears. Your goal is completing three sets of 30 repetitions.

Wrapping it Up

You may not be able to do the full sets when you first begin, but that’s okay. As your fitness levels increase, you may want to add more reps or more sets. You may even add light hand weights when you’re ready for a greater challenge.

Stretching before and after your workout helps prevent injury and muscle soreness. It’s even easier in the warm water of a hot tub.

If you want to make sure the water in your hot tub is always ready for a workout, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.