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.

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.

4 Ways to De-stress in Your Hot Tub

Your stress levels should drop just thinking about easing into a hot tub and enjoying the combination of heat, jets, and the soothing sound of bubbling water. Here are ways to maximize your well-deserved relaxation time:

1.                  Meditate (or just breathe)

Meditation involves deep breathing and is designed to help you reach a state of mental tranquility. To get the benefits, you only need a calm and quiet place – some practice in homes or studios but the added warmth and movement of the hot tub offers a great time to slow your breathing, quiet your mind, and get to a meditative state. Even if meditation isn’t your thing, the hot tub is a great time and place for a little serenity after a busy day. Relax. Breathe. Be in the moment.

 2.                Wine, or your cup of tea

Enjoying a nice glass of wine in the hot tub can definitely ramp up the relaxation factor. If wine isn’t your thing, hot herbal teas offer antioxidants and a wonderful calming effect too. Sipping your favorite beverage while feeling the warm water can help you forget about the day and relax, no matter what season. One tip: Make sure you have an insulated cup for hot drinks and a non-breakable glass for wine and aim for those with lids to help avoid getting any dirt or leaves in your beverage. They also help prevent or minimize spills!

 3.                Essential oils (or scented candles)

Aromatherapy can intensify your relaxation experience. Lavender, chamomile, vanilla and jasmine are traditionally known as the best scents for de-stressing and relaxation, but scents are extremely personal. You can use those that calm you, or even mix a few for different effects. You can place scented candles near the hot tub (but not on the edges!) to infuse the air with relaxing aromas, or use an essential oil diffuser in an indoor hot tub room. Especially if you use a smart water monitoring system like pHin, it’s easy to get your water balanced again after you’re done. 

 4.                Jets (or jets, jets, and more jets!)

Take advantage of the variety of jets and seating positions in your hot tub to create true relaxation. If you’re recovering after a busy day at work or home, find the jets that target wherever you carry tension,  whether in your neck, back, and shoulders, or other areas. Adjust the pressure to a more gentle and soothing level so that it’s less intense  if you are recovering from a long ski day or a tough workout. Switch to different positions so that all of your muscles get some attention. And don’t forget your feet! Placing your feet over the jets creates a similar result as reflexology, relaxing all of the tension and stimulating blood flow while stimulating nerves that have a positive impact for your whole body. A hot tub foot massage is pretty magical so don’t skip this important part of your relaxation experience!

Everyone has their own secret for elevating the relaxation effects of their hot tub. Here’s one more tip: the less time you spend worrying about pH balances and chemical levels, the more you’ll be able to focus on stripping away the stress. Use a smart water monitor to automatically monitor your hot tub’s chemical levels and receive alerts if anything needs attention. Knowing that your hot tub is always ready and waiting for you is an easy way to decrease stress and enjoy life!