Hot tubs can be many different things to many different people. Some people use hot tubs as a place for socialization. Inviting over a group of family and friends to spend time in the hot tub can be a great way to have some fun while catching up and fraternizing. Other people prefer to use their hot tub to get away from it all and experience some peace and quiet in a relaxing environment. Still others will use their hot tub as a tool for helping their body. Whether you’re an athlete soothing sore muscles, a sufferer of arthritis seeking pain relief or someone looking to increase their range of motion, a hot tub can be helpful with many medical conditions. But what if you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Can a hot tub raise your blood pressure even more? The quick answer is that soaking in a hot tub will actually reduce your blood pressure. To go into more detail about the relationship between hot tubs and blood pressure we’ve come up with this article.
Blood Pressure Explained
What is blood pressure anyway? Basically, it’s the measurement of the pressure that blood creates on the walls of your blood vessels and arteries. Pressure is created by the beating of the heart so that the blood is able to circulate throughout the body. The more blood that flows through your heart and the narrower your blood vessels the higher your blood pressure will be. Blood pressure is considered one of the body’s vital signs which also includes oxygen saturation, body temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate.
Blood Pressure Measurement
For the measurement of blood pressure, a comparison between the systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart beats) and the diastolic pressure (the pressure between heart beats) is used. The unit of measurement is millimetres of mercury (mmHg) over the surrounding atmospheric pressure. What’s considered normal blood pressure is between the range of 90/60mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is signified by measurements higher than 140/90mmHg.
High Blood Pressure Health Problems
Consistently high blood pressure can start to cause wear and tear on various organs. This can include the brain, the heart, the kidneys, blood vessels and arteries and even the eyes. This wear and tear can cause aneurysms, heart attacks, kidney disease, strokes, arterial damage and more. It’s estimated that more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. But because the symptoms of high blood pressure are largely imperceptible, many people suffering from it don’t even realize it. It’s therefore important to be tested regularly, especially after 40 years of age. High blood pressure can be treated and even a modest reduction in numbers can have a significant outcome.
Blood Pressure and Hot Tubs
As mentioned in the introduction, soaking in a hot tub generally decreases blood pressure. There will be a short spike in blood pressure upon entering the water, but once the body temperature is raised, the blood vessels will begin to dilate in an effort to cool the body. The warmth will also cause the heart to beat faster and increase the blood flow. This combination can result in the lowering of the blood pressure. There have been scientific studies which have shown that spending 10 minutes in a hot tub will reduce the blood pressure of those with high blood pressure as well as those with normal blood pressure. Exercising in warm water appears to reduce the blood pressure for as long as 24 hours.
Heart Conditions and Hot Tubs
If you have a heart condition, it’s imperative to speak with a doctor before using a hot tub. For those with low blood pressure, a hot tub can lead to a loss of consciousness. You should also keep an eye on the water temperature (below 104 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended) and the time spent in the water (15 minutes or less.)
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