How Long Should You Soak in a Hot Tub?

The post How Long Should You Soak in a Hot Tub first appeared on Swim University

SOAKING IN A HOT TUB IS HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO RELAX, AND THERE ARE MANY HEALTH BENEFITS WITH REGULAR HOT TUB SOAKING SESSIONS. BUT HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SOAK IN A HOT TUB?

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to stay in a hot tub too long? If you do happen to have a rather long soak, is it dangerous? These are questions commonly asked by new hot tub owners. Let's take a look at several factors you must consider and then discuss how long you should be soaking in your hot tub. 

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DETERMINING THE RIGHT LENGTH OF TIME

While there is no hard and fast rule, these factors will give you somewhere to start. 

1. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

The environment outside is a major factor in determining how long you soak. If it is really hot outside, your body will cool itself slower. This could lead to overheating rather quickly. On the other hand, if it is really cold, your body could cool itself way too quickly, which would result in dizziness or other conditions. 

2. HOT TUB TEMPERATURE

Most hot tubs will not heat above 104°. That's 40° Celsius for our international friends. Still, by turning down the water even one or two degrees, you can greatly increase the amount of time you can safely spend in your hot tub. 

3. YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

If you are in good health, there is very little to worry about. However, if you are pregnant or have a heart condition it is recommended that you avoid using a hot tub, or just use it sparingly. Be honest with yourself about your personal health before putting one foot into that warm soothing water. 

4. HOW DEEP YOU SIT

If you sit in your hot tub with the water up to your neck, your body will have a harder time regulating its internal temperatures. You can increase your time by simply sitting up and keeping the water level at your chest.

DANGERS OF SOAKING TOO LONG

Enjoying the warm bubbling water is great, but staying in a spa for too long can cause certain health risks and even lead to greater problems. 

1. LIGHT-HEADED OR DIZZINESS

If you have ever had a bath and stayed in too long, you could have experienced that feeling when you got out. You are dizzy or a little light-headed. It passes quickly in most cases. 

2. BURNS ON THE SKIN

If you have sensitive skin and you stay in a hot tub for too long, you may end up burning your skin. In most cases, these burns are mild and similar to a sunburn. Your skin will redden and hurt, and may even blister in more extreme cases.

3. OVERHEATING

Staying in a hot tub for too long can easily cause you to overheat. This could lead to fainting or other health problems. On the other hand, you may experience symptoms of hypothermia upon getting out of the hot tub if it is really cold outside. 

4. NAUSEA AND VOMITING

Long periods in a hot tub have been known to cause nausea and vomiting for some people, especially after eating. While no one is quite sure why this is the case, many believe it is due to the changes in blood flow to the brain. 

5. BLOOD PRESSURE DROP

The heat of a hot tub causes the blood vessels to dilate and results in a lowering of your blood pressure. This usually means your heart must work harder to maintain the proper pressure. If you have a heart condition, this could lead to potentially dangerous side effects if you're not careful. 

SO HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SOAK?

All of the information above is great and will help you determine how long is too long for you, but that still doesn’t give you a rule to live by. Thankfully, that’s where we come in!

A good rule of thumb to go by is you should soak somewhere between 15-30 minutes at a time. On occasion, you will be okay to push it to 45 minutes to an hour but I wouldn’t make that a habit. You may have to adjust the times a little bit based on how warm it is outside and the temperature of the hot tub, but in general this is a good place to start.

Ultimately, you need to go with your comfort level. If after a long soak you feel dizzy or light headed, then it is time to back down on the time you spend in your hot tub. In the end, you should be able to figure out how much time is right for you and your body. Oh and remember, if children like to soak in your hot tub, you will need to shorten the time even more, as children’s bodies cannot adapt and cool themselves as well as adults.

CONCLUSION

While a hot tub can really benefit your health, if used incorrectly you can certainly do more harm than good. Use your hot tub at the proper temperature and length of time to ensure you're safety. It's tempting to remain in the hot tub for a while but in the end, you will be glad you followed the right guidelines. Your body will thank you for it.

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