“Hot Tub Therapy” May Benefit Those With Diabetes

by Feb 25, 2012

A couple relaxing in a hot tub

You probably already know about the recreational and relaxation benefits of owning a hot tub. Hot tubs and swim spas can decrease stress, increase intimacy, and transform any social gathering into a killer hot tub party…but did you know there are plenty of proven hot tub therapeutic benefits, too?

In fact, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that spa therapy can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from diabetes. From stress reduction to weight loss, here’s a look at how your spa may help your condition.

A couple relaxing in a hot tub

Spas Can Lower Your Blood Glucose Levels

In the N.E. Journal of Medicine study, Philip J. Hooper studied eight type 2 diabetes patients for three weeks. Hooper’s subjects took a 30-minute soak in a hot tub six days a week, submerging themselves up to their shoulders. Astonishingly, Hooper found that six 30-minute spa sessions were enough to lower most of his patients’ blood glucose levels in three weeks — from an average of 182 mg/dl to 159 mg/dl.

A Dip in the Spa Means a Dip on the Scale

What’s more, Hooper also found that his subjects lost weight as a result of their six-day/30-minute spa therapy. No one in the study was on any other weight loss routine; in fact, some subjects were unable to exercise traditionally due to obesity.

Hot tubs and swim spas cause you to sweat in addition to stimulating your muscles with water movement. These two factors allow for gradual weight loss, making hot tub therapy an ideal weight loss solution for those unable to exercise. Subjects lost an average of 3.75 pounds during the study.

Reduce Your Stress, Reduce Your Blood Sugar

High stress levels tend to increase your blood sugar. Taking a 30-minute dose of “me-time” is a great way to reduce emotional and physical stress. It’s a time for quiet reflection and relaxation, especially if you make it a priority. For 30 minutes each day, you’ve got to ignore work, chores, and worries to go soak in the spa, forcing yourself to put away those stresses and recharge.

Sleep Easy at Night

Taking a dip in a heated spa slows your muscles and helps your body physically relax, allowing you to fall asleep quicker. A pre-bedtime soak in a spa can also help you fall into a deeper sleep than usual—no fitful nights, no early awakenings.

The world of hot tub therapy is still largely waiting to be explored. No matter what spa health benefits you experience and enjoy, one thing’s for sure: there’s no better way to relax and relieve stress than with some quiet time in your private spa.