Hot Tubs and Fighting the Flu

Combating Cold & Flu Season

I hate to bring it up but the inevitable cold & flu season is descending upon us all. The idea of being sick with body aches, stuffiness, congestion, sore throats and trouble sleeping is definitely not something to look forward to, but did you know that research shows that your hot tub may be one of the best tools to help relieve and even shorten your cold & flu symptoms?

Here’s how:

Clear congestion
Colds and flu are common in the winter because viruses thrive in cool air. Similar to putting your face over a bowl of hot water relaxing in a hot tub can help to clear your nose and throat, the steamy air entering your nasal passages while soaking in warm water helps to shrink swollen mucus membranes and induce drainage, helping you to breathe better. Adding some eucalyptus aromatherapy couldn’t hurt either.

Ease flu symptoms
Sore muscles and aches are common symptoms of the cold and flu, they hamper your sleep and make you feel miserable. Many people find that spending a few minutes in the massaging water of their hot tub provides immediate, as well as long lasting, relief. The warmth works to relax muscles and increase circulation, especially if you have a hot tub with jets.

Sleep better
One of the best things you can do when you’re sick is to sleep but it can be difficult when you’re sick. Try soaking in the warm waters of your hot tub for about 15 minutes, 90 minutes before bedtime. In addition to helping you relax your body and mind, your body temperature decreases which causes the feeling of sleepiness - that along with the relief on your muscles and congestion, will help you to get some much needed rest.

Reduce stress
It has been found that there is a correlation between stress and your ability to fight viruses, including the common cold. Spending time in your hot tub can give your body the boost it needs to regulate and combat certain ailments. In fact, regular soaking in a hot tub can have great benefits on your overall health – it helps to improve blood circulation and to lessen muscle and joint pain also associated with arthritis.

Fake a Fever
Experts say that the “fever” you get during a cold or flu is one of your body’s natural defense mechanisms to rid your system of the virus. WebMD.com says “Low-grade fever helps the body fight off infection by suppressing the growth of viruses or bacteria and by activating the immune system.” Inducing a slight fever by soaking in a warm hot tub at the first sign of a cold, can help your body naturally fight the nasty flu virus.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking fluids helps to flush your system and keep you hydrated, especially when you’re sick.  Elevated body temperatures caused by a real fever, or hot tub use, can dehydrate you because you are sweating in the tub, so remember to keep hydrated when you are ill, and drink plenty of water before, during and after soaking to keep yourself hydrated.

Keep in mind that hot tub soaking is only as healthy as the cleanliness of the water in the tub. The Pool Lady is always here to help you with the testing and balancing of your water chemistry, just give me a call!