We most often think of a hot tub as a piece of recreational equipment. The truth is, though, that a healthy hot tubbing can be an important part of an active, healthy lifestyle. And probably not in the way you think.
The truth is, your hot tub isn’t just great for an after workout soak. It can also be an important part of the workout itself.
Exercise is generally divided into three categories: strength training, cardio, and mobility/flexibility. Guess what? Your hot tub can be used to practice any or all of them.
Healthy Hot Tubbing – Strength Training
Strength training is all about performing a motion under increased load. Traditional exercises to increase strength include push-ups, sit-ups, and weight lifting. Not only can these exercises be replicated in the hot tub, they can be performed more safely and effectively in the water.
With the use of resistance dumbbells – special weights that use water resistance to make you work harder – push-ups and upper-body weight lifting become possible. To perform a water dumbbell push-up simply:
- Sit with your back firmly against the side of the hot tub, with water above your shoulders
- Hold the water bells firmly in front of you, at shoulder height
- Push the bells out from your chest in a “push-up motion”
- The speed of your push will affect the resistance, and therefore the difficulty of the exercise
The advantage to doing pushups this way is that it produces less stress on your elbows and wrists than traditional push-ups. Note that the water bells are available in a variety of resistance levels. They can also be used under water for traditional dumbbell biceps curls and any other way you would use a regular had weight outside of the hot tub.
Healthy Hot Tubbing – Cardio
There are a number of specialty exercise spas and hot tubs on the market that incorporate exercise equipment. You don’t have to buy a hot tub with a built-in exercise bike, though, to get a cardio workout. Any workout can be a cardio workout if it raises your heart rate and makes you breathe harder.
One way to get a lower body cardio work out in a hot tub is by performing sitting leg raises, or scissor kicks.
- Sit on the hot tub bench with your legs extended out in front
- Make sure to brace yourself firmly with both hands on the bench or the side of the tub behind you
- As quickly as you can kick your feet up and down in a scissor motion
- It is like a flutter kick when swimming, but with a fuller range of motion, and without bending the knee
- If the resistance is too much for your knees, you can switch to bicycle kicks
- You can also add more of a strength training element by adding ankle weights
It is not only possible to practice yoga in a hot tub, there’s a whole new kind of yoga called, unsurprisingly, “hot tub yoga”. Similar to traditional yoga, it involves stretching and holding poses to improve circulation, flexibility and mobility. For some specific information on the poses, check out this hot tub yoga info graphic for more Healthy Hot Tubbing.
Healthy Hot Tubbing – Killing two Birds with One Stone
All hot tubs need maintenance and setting aside some time to put some good old elbow grease into your hot tub is a way of killing two birds with one stone. Set aside time to give the hot tub a real good scrubbing. First, drain the hot tub and then with a shammy or wet cloth wipe down all the surfaces of the hot tub including both sides of the hot tub cover. This will be a nice workout and your hot tub will benefit from the cleaning as well. So a win win for you and your hot tub.
Building your Own Healthy Workout Routine
Everyone is different, and needs to build a workout plan based on their own personal condition. Building a routine around your hot tub is a fantastic way to keep in shape and keep the hot tub looking and functioning great. Jenny Anderson a writer for Sports Fitness Advisor really does a great job at walking you through how to build a great Workout Routine. Jenny brings in 2 time Olympian Nick Catlin as well to go over some great workout tips. Best part their are videos as well that will help you build that routine.
Healthy Hot Tubbing – Caution
Hot tubs relax muscles and increase circulation, which can help before, during and after exercise. With any fitness plan, it is important to consult with your physician before you begin. With hot tub exercising it’s even more important – especially if you have a heart or circulatory condition. Check with your doctor first, and listen to your body. Don’t over do it.