Hot tubs are an excellent way to relax and unwind, and the heat and pressure from their jets also offer various benefits to your physical health. For example, soaking in a hot tub can alleviate muscle soreness, and it can even help regulate your sleep.
However, as beneficial as hot tubs are, some people are still wary of the risks involved, especially if they have underlying health conditions like hypertension. One common question people have is, “can a hot tub raise your blood pressure?”
So, can it actually raise your blood pressure? Let’s find out in this article.
High Blood Pressure – An Overview
Before we can answer if hot tubs can raise your blood pressure, we first need to discuss what high blood pressure is. Simply put, high blood pressure is a condition wherein your blood pressure is higher than what’s considered normal.
Of course, your blood pressure changes throughout the day, depending on the amount of physical activity you’re engaging in. Some substances, such as coffee or salt, can also potentially cause higher than usual blood pressure.
You should also note that your age is another factor in what’s considered normal blood pressure levels. However, in general, a blood pressure that’s less than 120/80 mmHg is what’s considered normal.
High blood pressure is widely deemed dangerous because it can harm other organs in your body, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, eyes, and even your blood vessels.
Soaking in a Hot Tub – Can It Raise Your Blood Pressure?
So, what about hot tubs? Can they raise your blood pressure? The good news is that hot tubs actually lower your blood pressure. The higher temperatures in hot tubs typically increase your body’s blood flow to the skin as it tries to offset the external heat and regulate your own temperature.
This is called “passive heating,” and it allows your body to dilate its blood vessels and increase your circulation and heart rate. In turn, this lowers your blood pressure significantly.
That’s why soaking in a hot tub can be an excellent way to alleviate the symptoms of hypertension and improve your overall health and well-being.
In fact, some studies have shown that people with hypertension who soaked in a hot tub for at least ten minutes had significantly lower blood pressure readings than those who didn’t.
These studies have also noted that combining the heated water with some exercise increased its positive effects on the body. They also observed that these effects lasted up to 24 hours after engaging in the activity.
Precautions for Using Hot Tubs as Therapy
While soaking in a hot tub can be an excellent way to lower your blood pressure, it’s still recommended that you consult with your physician before using one regularly to address your hypertension.
This is because there are risks involved even with the best hot tubs, especially since a sudden drop in your blood pressure can put too much strain on your heart. Likewise, sudden decreased blood pressure can also cause you to faint.
With that said, if you choose to use hot tubs to alleviate your hypertension, it’s best to limit your use to 15 minutes maximum and avoid temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius. It’s also advised to avoid drinking alcohol before soaking in a hot tub.
So, when it comes to the question, “can a hot tub raise your blood pressure,” the answer is that no, it doesn’t; it lowers it instead.
However, as beneficial as it is for people with high blood pressure, it’s still a good idea to take the necessary precautions before soaking in the hot tub to prevent any complications with your health.