Looking for more ways to relax at the end of a day? Swimming is known for its physical and mental benefits, helping to calm muscles and the mind. Not only is a swim spa a prime way to melt away the day, but it also provides a spot for water-based exercise in your own yard. Finding a way to incorporate aquatic fitness in your own home is one of the main reasons people search for the best swim spas (opens in new tab), with the added benefit of typically costing less than standard pools. These options are also famed for hydrotherapy, rehabilitation and muscle pain relief, so what if you could find a swim spa with added water therapy benefits? The answer would be one that offers a hot tub combo, for that added blissful luxury.
Popularized by their indulgent feel, the best hot tubs (opens in new tab) are great for soaking your muscles and joints and replicating a spa-like atmosphere at home. If you’re looking for a slightly larger option that can accommodate room for exercise as well as relaxation, a combo could be the best fit for you. They provide a low-impact fitness solution and are proven to lower stress levels and improve sleep quality - a no-brainer for those wanting to boost their wellness.
Interested in making some positive changes to your routine and home? Then let’s take a look into the many mind-body benefits to see if a swim spa with a hot tub combo is a contender for your yard.
6 surprising health benefits
Swimming has a fantastic array of physical and mental health benefits that are accessible to people of all ages and different abilities. For those less interested in exercise, a tub can provide solace for decreasing pain and improving sleep, whereas those with a higher fitness level can reap the rewards of cardiovascular health and strength training.
There are extensive studies (opens in new tab) showing the health benefits of a pool on lowering rates of stress, depression, and anxiety, improving flexibility and coordination, building lung capacity and cardiovascular health, decreasing the risk of early mortality, and providing a low-impact workout for those with physical limitations. Let's unpack some of the benefits below...
1. Relaxation and de-stressing
While it may seem like pure indulgence, studies show that being enveloped in warm water improves mental health. Research (opens in new tab) conducted by Dr Bruce Becker, a research professor at Washington State University, found that immersion in warm water put participant’s bodies into a deep relaxation state, decreasing stress levels. "The autonomic nervous system responds to warm water immersion the same way it responds to meditation or a number of other relaxed states," Becker said.
Swimming in warm or cold water also triggers a mental state known as Blue Mind (opens in new tab), a term coined by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols to describe the way our brains release a flood of neurochemicals that make us happier and less stressed when we hear or come into contact with water.
2. Healthy weight loss
If you suffer from a chronic illness that makes mobility or fitness difficult or you’ve been encouraged by your doctor to lose weight for medical reasons, a spa tub combo can be a great way to improve your health. When combined with a healthy diet, swimming can help shed excess weight in those who are unable to engage in weight-bearing exercises such as walking or running.
Being in the water not only gives you a good cardio workout but you also benefit from the resistance of the water, helping to strengthen and tone muscles. Swimming for 30-60 minutes three to four times a week can help you lose weight safely and reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
3. Reduced pain and muscle tension
We’re focusing on hydrotherapy here, as some types of in-water spa exercises (opens in new tab) enable you to better deal with conditions like arthritis. A whole-body treatment that uses the temperature, pressure, and movement of the water to improve physical and emotional health, hydrotherapy is useful for treating pain and inflammation.
Studies (opens in new tab) have shown that hydrotherapy is particularly effective in reducing pain and joint tenderness and increasing strength in patients with arthritis, although it has been positively linked to improvements across a wide range of conditions.
4. Increased mobility
The motions used by the body in swimming lengthen the muscles, resulting in more flexible joints. Because water supports your weight, the risk of injury or exacerbating an existing one is rare. Studies (opens in new tab) have shown that the strength, coordination and flexibility training benefits of swimming are linked to increased mobility and functional independence in older adults, reducing the risk of disability by 30-50%.
Researchers at the University of Finland also found (opens in new tab) that water-based resistance training has long-term benefits when it comes to joint recovery, with those who undertook swim-based recovery programs showing a 50% increase in knee power than those who restricted their recovery to dry land.
5. Healthier, happier sleep
According to a poll (opens in new tab) by the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 132 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders more than once a week. The good news?Researchers at the University of Texas found (opens in new tab) that when participants immersed themselves in warm water 90-minutes before bed, they fell asleep quicker and their sleep quality improved.
Lead researcher Dr Shahab Haghayegh believes (opens in new tab) the answer to a good night's sleep lies in lowering body temperature, something that happens when we emerge from warm water.
6. Better blood sugar level management
Research has shown (opens in new tab) that regular thermal therapy can improve insulin sensitivity and help in the management of diabetes. A further study (opens in new tab) revealed that hot tub therapy may help patients with diabetes reduce their insulin doses. Eight participants used one for 30-minutes a day for six days per week over a three-week period. The water temperature ranged from 37.8°C to 41.0°C.
While further research is needed, researchers believe this type of water therapy may be particularly useful in helping patients with Type 2 diabetes to better manage their blood sugar levels, especially if they are unable to exercise.
For muscle tension relief out of the water, we recommend using one of the best handheld massagers (opens in new tab) to relieve everyday aches and pains.