If the winter months have you feeling particularly blah, don’t despair! Taking a tropical vacation is not the only way to get away, when you invest in a daily hot tub escape.
Winter blues are usually caused by a combination of missing the energizing effect of longer days of sunlight and feeling stir crazy with less opportunities for getting outdoors in the cold. Combat this with the year-round outdoor retreat that a hot tub in your yard can provide.
In addition to giving you a reason to get up off the couch and into fresh air, winter time hot tub soaking will rejuvenate you, improving both your health and your temperament.
The following health benefits of soaking will help keep the winter blues at bay:
1) Balancing hormones
Studies have shown that soaking in hot water results in a combination of increased blood flow and relaxed breathing, which in turn causes an increase in levels of “happy” hormones like serotonin and dopamine, and a decrease in “stress” hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. This balance in hormones can help to treat the emotional and physical symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
2) Achieving deeper sleep
The heat of hot tub water naturally raises your core body temperature. As you exit, your body temperature will enter a cooling period. This process mimics the pattern of body temperature changes before and during sleep, which ultimately helps you achieve a deeper sleep. And improved sleep is one of the best weapons you can have to combat stress on an ongoing basis.
3) Mental reprieve from physical symptoms
Whether your ailment is standard post-workout muscle soreness or advanced arthritis, physical pain understandably takes a toll on mental energy. While your body is healing inside the bubbling water of your hot tub, your mind will be freed from thoughts of pain. Use this opportunity to practice letting go of other mentally draining thoughts, such as work worries or routine responsibilities, and just focus on indulging in the solitude of your backyard oasis.
4) Opportunity for meditation
If you’ve ever wished you could master clearing your mind and achieving perfect serenity, your hot tub is the perfect place to practice meditation. You can use aromatherapy candles (in soothing scents of lavender or vanilla), and play calming nature sounds to help distract you from racing thoughts. Practice taking slow deep belly breaths as you focus on the warm water enveloping your body, and the strains of the music, if you choose to use it. Begin with a goal of 4-5 minutes of consistent focus, and slowly work your way up to sessions of 15 minutes. Eventually, you’ll be able to harness the calmness and clarity that you can achieve here, and call upon it during moments of stress in your day.
And just remember to stay mindful of your water temperature and level during the winter months, for maximum energy efficiency..
The idea that you’ll save money by raising and lowering the temperature of your hot tub water in the winter months is a misconception. In fact, the colder it gets, the longer it takes for your hot tub to heat up. This means that it’s more economical to leave the water at a constant temperature, which will also keep the water from freezing in the pipes. And of course, make sure to cover your tub as soon as you’ve finished soaking, to seal in the heat.
If you don’t use your hot tub every day, make sure to check the water levels regularly. Should they drop too low, the pumps and heater may stop working, which can cause the water to freeze.
Experiencing any such winter-related issues would certainly NOT help in fighting the winter blues!