After a long day filled with work and home responsibilities, it may feel like you could spend your entire evening soaking – but how long should you stay in a hot tub?
What could be better than slipping into your own hot tub, letting the stresses from the day melt away? If you’re like most hot tub owners, you love a good, relaxing soak after work, and the spa has quickly become a nightly ritual in which you participate alone, with your partner, family or friends. A hot tub helps your body relax and alleviate the tension left behind from the days events. While using your hot tub regularly is encouraged, it’s important to know how long is too long for you, your family members and any guests who may be joining you. Users should be aware that there are limits to keeping the experience a safe one.
Though spending time in the hot tub has proven health benefits, the length of time that is safe to spend soaking depends on you and your overall health. Hot tub safety rules and how to use a hot tub vary according to an individual’s age and health.
Below we will outline the risks of hot tub overuse, recommended session times, acceptable frequency of use, and important factors to consider when it comes to using a hot tub. Factors vary from person to person, and being aware of the warning signs of overheating and other potential problems caused by soaking in a hot tub for too long will make you a well prepared hot tub owner.
Understanding The Risks Of Overuse
While the health and wellness benefits of using a hot tub are countless, it’s important that a hot tub is used as recommended. If used incorrectly, the elevated water temperature could caused a higher than normal internal temperature in your body, causing symptoms like nausea, dizziness or faintness. Reading the signals your body is sending you will help you determine when you’ve had enough.
Remember to always keep hydrated in order to prevent dehydration, nausea or vomiting. If you begin to feel dizzy or light headed in any way it’s important to bring your body back to a normal temperature as quickly as possible by taking your entire upper body out of the hot tub. After some time has passed – ideally around 15 minutes – you can try entering the hot tub again.
Another complication to look out for is overheating, which may initially show itself as dizziness. Overheating is happening within your body if you begin to have a headache, feel weak or tired, have a tingly sensation on the skin or experience either a heavy amount of sweating or no sweating at all.
If you see your skin begin to change colour, if burns appear, or your skin becomes sensitive in any way, it’s time to take a hot tub break.
If you experience any blurred vision or an inability to concentrate, this may be a sign of low blood pressure and another indication that it’s a good time to end your hot tub session.
Though negative signs or symptoms while using a hot tub are not common, it’s important to understand what could happen and how to know if something is wrong.
Timing Your Hot Tub Sessions
Recommendations around timing for soaking sessions will greatly depend on personal and environmental factors that will influence the rate at which your body can safely handle being immersed in elevated temperatures. Individuals over 12 years of age without any significant health issues can safely enjoy long hot tub sessions. The key to extending the length of your soaking sessions is taking regular breaks to cool down every 15-30 minutes, depending on the temperature of the water and the way in which your body adapts. For example, at 98 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, it’s safe to soak in the hot tub as long as you’d like. For spas over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, taking more frequent breaks to help your body cool down is advisable. Ideally, aiming to time your soaking sessions to 15 and 30 minutes is the sweet spot. Depending on how your body is responding to the hydrotherapy, you might be able to extend your soak to 45 minutes. Ultimately, how long you should soak all depends on your personal comfort level. If you feel fine, you probably are.
Alternate sitting on the various seats in your hot tub to adjust the level at which you are submerged in water. The more you move around and vary your seat depth, the longer you can safely sit in the hot tub. You can also keep your torso out of the water to help regulate your temperature.
It is always recommended to have a bottle of water with you when you are soaking so you don’t get dehydrated. Though a hot tub can make you sweat, depending on the temperature and the length of time you’ve been soaking, the body may have a more difficult time perspiring without sufficient water intake. The heat can then become trapped within the body, raising the internal body temperatures and potentially causing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness or dehydration. Pay attention to the early signs to avoid overdoing it.
How Often Can You Use A Hot Tub?
The best part about owning a hot tub is there is never a limit to when it can be used. Winter, summer, spring or fall, as part of a daily ritual or even multiple times per day – it is safe to enjoy your hot tub as often as you’d like – of course taking into consideration the per session timing recommendations outlined above. So create your hot tub soaking routine and enjoy your spa as much as you’d like!
- Important Factors To Consider
So what are the most important things to consider when determining a safe time for soaking? When using your hot tub, there are many individual and environmental factors to consider when it comes to what is safe and for whom. Each person is different, and the most important thing when using your hot tub is that you and the people around you always pay attention to how they are feeling. Below we’ve outlined important considerations to keep in mind before you, or your guests begin to soak.
- Hot Tub Temperature
The temperature of the water has the biggest influence on the length of time that’s safe for an individual to soak for. Most hot tub owners like to keep their hot tub between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, Some venturing as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit as the resting temperature. At this temperature, making sure to stay hydrated and ensure you give your body a break every 15 to 30 minutes to bring your internal temperature down. However at a cool 98 degrees Fahrenheit, you can soak resting assured that your body can soak comfortably at this temperature for as long as you desire. When determining how long your soak should be, the rule of thumb is usually: the higher the water temperature, the shorter time you should spend immersed in the water.
- Outdoor Temperature
Are you enjoying your hot tub on a warm summer day or in the cold of winter? Depending on the temperature outside, you may be able to extend your hot tub soaking time. If your body is being cooled down from the top due to cooler temperatures, you can likely withstand a longer soak. On the flip side, if it’s a warm and sunny day, you may want to limit the amount of time spent in your spa or lower the temperature to a safe 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Personal Health
If you suffer from any health issues, it is always advisable to speak to a doctor before using a hot tub. Factors such as heart disease, shortness of breath, high blood pressure and diabetes may influence safe temperatures and soaking times. While using a hot tub being aware of how you’re feeling will help to prevent any potential overuse.
Healthy adults should be able to follow the standard guidelines of 15-30 minutes at temperatures of 100-104 degrees. Kids often love the idea of joining their parents in the hot tub, but they should only be enjoying a soak for a short period of time, especially if they are under the age of 12. At 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, no longer than a 5 minute soak is safe for those under 12. At 98-104 degrees Fahrenheit, 15 minutes can be tolerated. Like adults, anything 98 degrees and under is safe to enjoy. Like with all water safety, kids should never be left in a hot tub unattended, and it’s recommended that children use the seats that allow for more of their torso to be out of the water.
Pregnancy is one of the most special times in a woman’s life. However growing a baby can be hard work and a nice relaxing hot tub soak can sound very tempting. But is it safe for a woman to use a hot tub during pregnancy? Pregnant women should avoid hot tubs over 102 degrees. Even at cooler hot tub temperatures, soak times should be limited to under 10 minutes in order to avoid potentially causing the body (and baby) undo stress. Doing a quick check of yourself and the situation before beginning to soak will prevent unnecessary overuse and will assist you in guiding any guests you may be entertaining to enjoy your spa safely.
Hot tubs are perfectly safe and provide a wide range of benefits from pain relief, to stress release, to quality time with loved ones. As with any recreational product, proper installation, use, and maintenance ensure safety of those enjoying their hydrotherapy experience. Certain circumstances warrant limitations, such as pregnancy and having kids around. And if you’re using a public spa rather than a private hot tub, there are factors to be aware of. But overall, as long as recommended precautions are taken, safety risks can be minimized. Contact us today if you hav any further questions regarding how long you should stay in a hot tub.