While many of us choose a hot tub as part of our lifestyle to provide a moment of relaxation, what many people don’t know is that hot tubs can also support body aches and pains, including arthritis.
According to research by The Arthritis Foundation, warm water therapy can support those who are living with arthritis and help make daily life more manageable.
To quote a feature on the research in Arthritis Today, the magazine of the Arthritis Foundation, “Research has shown warm water therapy works wonders for all kinds of musculoskeletal complaints, including fibromyalgia, arthritis, and lower back pain.”
As our bodies are more buoyant in the water, this helps to take some of the pressure off joints as you exercise. By practising exercises and activities in the warm water, you strengthen muscles around the joints, helping to minimise joint stress and better absorb the shocks from everyday movement.
Ideally, you should be doing gentle exercises in the water to support arthritis. However, as always with any medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before carrying out these exercises.
The exercises we’ve listed here are not only good for those with arthritis, but also for any other aches or pains you may be suffering from, including general joint stiffness.
Add these to your daily routine and you will quickly see an improvement in both your general health and your resilience to aches and pains.
Knees to Chest
As you are seated in the hot, place both hands underneath one of your thighs, behind the knee. Keeping your back straight, gently bring your knee as close to your chest as you can. Hold this position for as long as you are comfortable. Slowly release and repeat with the other leg.
Stretch and Wriggle Feet
Even if you don’t struggle with arthritis this is a great exercise for those who work on their feet all day.
Sitting on one side of the hot tub, stretch your legs and feet out towards the wall of the hot tub on the opposite side of you.
Try to place your feet on the wall of the hot tub with your legs stretched out.
Gently push against the wall of the hot tub with your toes until only the very tips of your toes are making contact.
Hold this position for a count of 20 seconds.
Release, and wiggle your toes in the water.
Repeat this exercise three times.
For arm circles you will need the hot tub all to yourself as it requires space.
Extend your arms out to your side until your upper body forms a T-shape.
Rotate your shoulders forward so that your arms make gentle circles within the water.
Continue this movement for 30 seconds, taking deep breaths as you go.
Then reverse the direction for another 30 seconds.
Flutter kicks are an exercise that anyone can do to increase strength as it exercises your legs and abdominals.
While seated in the hot tub keep your legs underwater and extend them out.
Do your best to keep them straight and kick them one at a time as if you were swimming.
Continue these flutter kicks for 30 seconds or until you become tired.
If it’s safe to do so, you can also do these while floating on your back.
These exercises will make you warm while in your hot tub, so while doing them you may wish to take the temperature down slightly.
As mentioned earlier, it is vital that you check with a doctor or physician before carrying out these exercises.