Hot Tub Health Benefits for Weight Loss

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Many studies show that it’s difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Each year, millions of people begin a diet, but research shows that only one to five percent of them can keep lost weight off.

Doctors recommend that the best way to effectively lose weight and attain general health is to adopt healthy habits like exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, managing stress, and making good food choices.

Stress is a leading cause of weight gain, giving way to unhealthy habits. In addition to the recommendations above, hot tub use can be a great way to manage stress. We will discuss how warm water hydrotherapy can abate stress and increase your wellbeing.

So, does a hot tub help with weight loss? Soaking in a hot tub does not directly help with weight loss. In fact, you only burn 3% more calories in a hot tub than you do sitting on a couch. However, hot tub users experience reduced levels of stress and this is a key factor in helping you to lose weight.

So, that’s good news then! Hot tubbing can be a contributory activity that can help you to reduce your stress levels which in turn can lead to weight loss. Let’s find out how that works and see if there are any other ways that a hot tub can help with weight loss and a generally healthy lifestyle.

How stress makes us fat?

Cortisol is a hormone that is released as a response to environmental signals. When faced with threats, cortisol helps our bodies and minds make an important decision known as fight or flight. This system was greatly beneficial to our ancestors who encountered stress intermittently. They would experience extreme hunger or fear when fighting or being chased by another animal.

Stress, as we all know, is a big problem in modern life, and when we are stressed our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Now, cortisol, in many ways is a good thing. It sets us into “fight or flight” mode – it was great for helping our ancestors react quickly to short-term stressful situations before receding when the threat had passed.

The problem today is that many of us are in an almost continuous situation of stress and overstimulation and our bodies are producing large quantities of cortisol on an almost constant basis.

Constant stress leads to weight gain

Fatty, salty foods are available everywhere. Our bodies are programmed to experience pleasure when consuming these high-calorie foods, so it’s no surprise that many of us self-medicate with unhealthy food.

You’ve probably heard that muscle weighs more than fat, but did you know that muscle actually burns more calories than fat? The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn, and the more fat you have, the fewer calories you can burn. To make matters worse, cortisol can block the release of testosterone, a hormone essential to building new muscle.

When cortisol is released, it signals the body to store fat, in particular deep abdominal fat. This type of fat receives more blood flow from the body and has more cortisol receptors than other types of fat.

Hot tubs provide stress reduction

When we lower our stress levels, it is easier to relax. When we are relaxed, we take better care of ourselves with exercise and time with friends. Think of your hot tub as a tool to lower your stress level and make room mentally, emotionally, and physically for good habits and experiences.

Stress can skew the body’s hormones in dramatic ways. One of the most significant ways involves cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone.” The effects of cortisol can be devastating to people who are trying to lose pounds, and even to those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. Cortisol, which is associated with the body’s “fight or flight” response to a stressor or threat, affects the body in three ways that can make weight loss difficult or impossible:

  • Cortisol can trigger many individuals to crave high-fat, high-sodium foods in an effort to self-soothe and cope with stress. These foods can easily result in weight gain.
  • Cortisol can prevent your body from building new muscle by reducing testosterone levels. More muscle means a faster rate of burning calories, which in turn drives weight loss; high cortisol levels halt that muscle-building process. This can also result in a longer healing process for muscle injuries, which can subsequently make it difficult and painful to exercise.
  • Consistently high levels of cortisol can increase the amount of body fat, particularly in the abdominal region, by triggering the body's fat storage response.

Here some ways in which soaking in a hot tub can aid your weight loss goals are as follows:

  • Promotes an alert mind and a healthy body, which are important to losing weight
  • Relaxes your body and mind and reduces stress and risks for insomnia and restlessness
  • Helps your muscles to recover after and between workouts
  • Eases muscle and joint discomfort and soreness especially after exercising
  • Soothes muscles and joints to help improve flexibility and increases your ability to move freely
  • May improve health conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, which may hinder your weight loss plans.

You may not see any significant weight loss by just soaking in a hot tub. However, the health and fitness benefits will help you to better reach your weight loss goals and improve your quality of life.

If you still have questions or you need more information, please don't hesitate to contact us or call us anytime at 605 090 388.


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