Who Should Avoid Hot Tubs
If you have any concerns about using a hot tub, its worth having a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important in the following situations:
- Heart disease. Soaking in a hot tub can affect heart rate and blood pressure. This may be beneficial to some people with cardiovascular concerns but could be unsafe for others.
- Pregnancy. Its easy to get overheated when youre pregnant, which can be harmful to you and your baby.
You may also want to avoid a hot tub if you have:
- Skin injuries. Wait until cuts, open sores, or rashes have healed to reduce the risk of irritation and infection.
- Low blood pressure. If youre prone to lightheadedness or fainting, you should probably avoid the hot tub as the hot water could lower your blood pressure further.
- Urinary tract infection . Exposure to hot water when you have a UTI may worsen your symptoms.
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Health Problems Associated With High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases the strain on the heart, blood vessels and organs such as the kidneys, brain, and eyes. Continual high blood pressure can lead to health problems such as heart attacks and heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and arterial diseases including blood clots. Consistently high blood pressure numbers need to be monitored and steps need to be taken to bring them down.
Can Taking A Bath Lower Blood Pressure
Lowers blood pressure. Studies have shown that soaking in a hot bath can lower your blood pressure. This is a great system for those with heart conditions and even those who don’t. But first, consult your doctor if you do have a heart condition because a hot bath will also raise the rate of your heartbeat.
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So How Can A Hot Tub Help
Fortunately, there has been quite a lot of research done, particularly in the United States, on how hot tubs lower blood pressure. Here is just one example:
At the Cardiovascular Risk Factor Reduction Unit at the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 21 people with hypertension and 23 with normal blood pressure were subjected to a ten minute submersion in a 40 C hot tub. The results were favorable. That of the hypertensive group was 144 mmHg to 122 mmHg and of the normal group, 130 mmHg to 110 mmHg and the diastolic pressures of both groups dropped. Measurements returned to the baseline level 10 minutes after they left the spa.
So we at least know a 10 minute soak is safe for those with moderate hypertension with exception to the rule. It would be good for those persons to monitor their blood pressure if they would like to try staying in longer to experience for themselves the benefits of hot tubs. Many people who suffer from blood pressure do this, and it has been known to lower their blood pressure significantly, by causing the blood vessels to dilate, lessening strain on the heart, relieving stress, and in aiding a good nights` sleep. At first it causes the pressure to rise because the higher temperature on the vessels near the skins surface, but in a few minutes it drops.
Information taken from .
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The Benefits Of Heated Water
Typically, swim spas operate in the range of 95 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit , which is the recommended therapeutic range for low-activity soaking. The warmth of the water raises the bodys skin and core temperatures about one degree, which doesnt seem like much but the effect is dramatic. Known as “passive heating because it happens without physical activity, it actually mimics the effect of mild aerobic exercise by increasing the heart rate. This result is helpful for those who find it difficult to exercise on dry land, such as people with obesity or mobility issues. In addition to a faster heart rate, passive heating increases the availability of nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels. With less vascular resistance, cardiovascular load is reduced because the heart is able to pump blood more efficiently, resulting in lower blood pressure.
According to a 2008 study involving mice, warm water immersion also activates heat shock proteins, a group of molecules that protect cells from heat, cold and low blood sugar. A byproduct of this process blocks the inflammatory response, improving insulin function and protecting against obesity-induced glucose intolerance. Potentially, this may benefit people with type 2 diabetes and those who have reduced gene expression in heat shock protein HSP72.
Is It Safe To Use A Hot Tub With A Heart Condition
If you have a heart condition, its extremely important to seek a doctors advice before using a hot tub. For those who already have low blood pressure, a hot tub can cause fainting to occur. Other safety recommendations include keeping the water temperature below 40 degrees Celsius, avoiding alcohol while soaking and limiting soaking time to less than 15 minutes.
To find out more about the benefits of becoming a hot tub owner, download a free hot tub buyers guide here.
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Stay On The Safe Side
Both saunas and hot baths seem to be safe for people with stable heart disease and even mild heart failure. But people with unstable chest pain , poorly controlled high blood pressure, or other serious heart issues should avoid them.
“People who are in their 70s and older whose blood pressure is on the low side also should be extra careful,” says Dr. Hutter. If the water’s too hot in a bath or hot tub, your blood pressure may dip too low, which can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, he explains. By low, he means a systolic pressure around 110 mm Hg or lower. “A water temperature of 100° to 105° F is reasonable. Get in slowly, so your body can accommodate gradually,” he advises.
A typical Finnish sauna temperature is around 175° F. Stay in no longer than 15 to 20 minutes and for a shorter period if you have low blood pressure. If you start feeling uncomfortably hot or lightheaded, sit down outside the sauna. It’s also a good idea to cool down gradually don’t go straight outdoors in cold weather. Finally, drink several glasses of water afterward to replenish fluids lost from sweating.
Hot Tub Health Benefits For High Blood Pressure
Because hot tubs typically operate between 96 and 104-degrees Fahrenheit, they help to raise the skin and core temperatures of the body by a single degree. Though it may not seem like a large jump, it helps the body in what we call passive heating. Essentially, you are raising the temperature of the body without engaging in any sort of physical activity.
This increased body temperature will mimic the effects of mild exercise, as your heart rate increases along with the temperature. For those who struggle with mobility or obesity issues, passive heating can work wonders. Passive heating also increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to dilate the blood vessels and circulate blood more efficiently. In all, it decreases your blood pressure.
Having high blood pressure as a father of three has always been very difficult. My family is constantly worried about my well-being. Any moment could be a fatal one. For me, having a hot tub helps calm everyones nerves and makes me feel more at peace with my condition.
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High Blood Pressure Risks
As mentioned, prolonged high blood pressure can damage many organs in the body. Damage to the heart can lead to heart attacks, heart disease and aortic aneurysms. Other organs, such as the kidneys, can also be damaged, strokes can occur, and arterial damage can lead to an accumulation of fatty deposits. Its been found that one in five Canadian adults suffer from high blood pressure and many of them do not even realize it. Its important to have your blood pressure checked, especially after the age of 40. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, its important to reduce it. Bringing it down even slightly can mitigate many of these health risks.
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Go Ahead And Relax But Safely
You should always keep safetyin mind even when relaxing in a Jacuzzi, Dr. Rimmerman says. My bestadvice is to make sure the water temperature is not too high, to stay hydrated,and if you choose to use a hot tub or sauna especially if you are a heartpatient engage in the activity for only brief periods of time.
The Heat Can Leave You Woozy
Hot tubs have timers for a reason. When the water jets turn off, you should take a break, too. The timer to turn the jets back on is usually placed so that bathers have to get out of the water to reset it. If you see that the time is up, it’s probably a good time to take a break from the warm water. This is especially true for older adults whose ability to regulate their body temperatures is compromised by age.
Since the heat from a hot tub expands blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop, people who already have low blood pressure can pass out in a hot tub, which can lead to drowning. Drinking alcohol while using a hot tub can also combine with the heat to lower blood pressure and impair judgment.
The CDC recommends that hot tubs be no hotter than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agencys Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.
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What Happens If You Stay In The Hot Tub Too Long
Overheating If you stay in a hot tub for too long, your body might overheat. If it is chilly outside, this might result in hypothermia symptoms or even fainting. Changes in blood flow to the brain can also produce nausea and vomiting. If you remain in the tub for more than an hour, get out immediately and re-warm yourself by soaking in a cold bath or taking a cool shower.
Soaking injuries Another thing that can happen if you stay in the tub for too long is sopping clothing. Make sure that you donât soak your clothes in scalding water for too long wash them right away after using the hot tub. This will help prevent skin burns and irritations.
Heart problems If you have heart problems, such as coronary artery disease or heart failure, you should not stay in the hot tub for a long time. It is important to listen to your body and get out of the hot tub if you feel uncomfortable or unwell. These feelings are signs that itâs time to get out.
Paralysis/neurological issues If you have nerve or spinal cord damage, you should not stay in the hot tub for too long. You could suffer from excessive heat exposure or even drown. This is because the surface area of the body that is exposed to the water is too large.
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Hot Tubs And Blood Pressure A Safe Combination
A hot tub is a great investment for your mental and physical health. Everybody needs a way to relax, but if you suffer from certain health conditions, you need to be careful.
Hot tubs and blood pressure medication can be unsafe together. If you take the proper temperature precautions, limit your time in the hot tub, and consult a doctor you can remain safe.
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