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!

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.

Jumping From Hot Tub to Swimming Pool: Is it Good or Bad for You?

Jumping From Hot Tub to Swimming Pool: Is it Good or Bad for You? Just about everyone who has both a hot tub and a swimming pool has decided to follow a long soak in the tub by a dip in the pool (or vice versa).

Some may do it because the hot tub gets too hot, while others may do it to make their pool water feel a little bit cooler. But a question arises for many when it comes to moving from hot to cold in such a manner: is it safe?

When practiced properly, immersion between hot and cold water (commonly referred to as contrast bath therapy) is perfectly safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether contrast bath therapy is right for you.

Before we begin, let’s address the elephant in the room: your pool and hot tub water should both be perfectly balanced before you step foot in either one. The best way to know that your water is balanced is by using a pHin smart water monitor that continuously monitors your pool and hot tub water and lets you know when it’s time to add chemicals.

Now, onto contrast therapy:

Benefits of Moving Between Hot and Cold Water

One of the main benefits associated with contrast bath therapy is improved circulation. Hot water causes vasodilation (relaxation of blood vessels), while cold water causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), which increases local blood circulation.

In addition to improving circulation, contrast bath therapy can act much like a pump for the lymph system. Similar to blood vessels, lymph vessels relax in response to heat and contract in response to cold. Alternating between hot and cold can act as a makeshift pump for your lymph system, having a positive impact on the inflammation process, and helping your body heal damaged tissue.

Contrast therapy can also reduce muscle tightness and soreness, helping to prevent strained or pulled muscles. It is important to note that this process should always end with you in the colder water, as heat can induce the body’s inflammatory response.

When to Practice Contrast Therapy

There are certain times that contrast therapy has been found to be more effective or offer more pronounced benefits. In the morning (or whenever you wake up), it can jump-start your body, kicking circulation into gear and prepping you for the day ahead. Many people find that they are more alert when they start their day with contrast bath therapy.

It can also be beneficial before exercise, as it typically increases your muscle temperature and heart rate, leaving you less prone to strain and injury. If you find yourself experiencing any muscle injuries or tightness, contrast bath therapy can help with that as well.

In addition to being physically beneficial, it has also proved to have positive effects on the mind, as contrast therapy can decrease stress levels.

When Not to Practice Contrast Therapy

While contrast therapy provides many benefits, it is important to realize that there are certain circumstances in which you should avoid the practice.

First, if you have serious health issues, you should consult with your doctor before practicing any type of therapy, including hot and cold immersion. This is especially true if you have health problems involving the circulatory system, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or kidney problems. Your body may lack the ability to react well to the rapidly changing temperatures inherent in contrast therapy.

For any injuries that are swollen or bruised, you should avoid contrast therapy for at least 72 hours following the injury. Hot water often makes injuries involving swelling or bruising worse, as it typically causes greater swelling. Finally, never practice contrast therapy at any time during pregnancy, due to the extreme and rapid temperature changes.

To keep the water in your pool or hot tub balanced year-round, consider a pHin smart monitor. This device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool and hot tub balanced and healthy.