HOW HOT TUBS CAN HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Research shows that losing weight and keeping it off is challenging. Of the 50 million Americans who diet each year, only one to five percent manage to keep the lost weight off.
For effective weight loss and overall health and wellness, doctors emphasize the importance of adopting healthy habits like exercise, reducing alcohol intake and managing stress levels as much as food choices.
Did you know that stress can cause weight gain? Hot tubs can help lower your stress level, and in turn, help you to lose weight.
Using a hot tub is a very effective stress management method. Here, we will discuss how warm water hydrotherapy in your hot tub can help keep stress at an improved manageable level.
How Stress Can Make Us Fat
Cortisol – The stress hormone
The hormone cortisol interprets environmental signals into physical responses. When faced with a threat, this hormone helps the body and mind to make the fight or flight decision. While this response system was incredibly beneficial to our ancestors, their stress was more intermittent. Quick, stress-inducing incidents disrupted predictable routines among family and friends.
Today’s family and career pressures, on the other hand, almost constantly trigger stress. High stress levels can aggravate other debilitating conditions, including obesity. The American Psychological Association’s on-going study on stress in America has revealed that stress is the new normal for most of us. Columbia University’s First World Happiness Report ranks the United States below 24 other countries in average life satisfaction.
Persistent, cortisol-triggering stress leads to weight gain for several reasons.
- People have learned that salty and fatty foods are a simple way to calming stress. So many of us self-medicate with unhealthy food choices.
- Cortisol can block the muscle-building testosterone hormone. Muscle burns calories so much more efficiently. Less muscle means fewer calories are burned and more fat ends up being accrued.
- Cortisol signals the body to store fat, especially deep abdominal fat. (Deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and 4 times more cortisol receptors compared to other fat stored.)
Lower stress levels lead us to eat better, take the time to exercise and interact with family and friends more often. Use your hot tub as a tool to fight stress.
Let your hot tub lower your stress
Our hot tub owners rave about how well their hot tubs help them to relax. These owners hit on the body’s physiological changes that come with soaking in warm water. The raised body temperature dilates blood vessels allowing blood to flow more easily. The heat and additional buoyancy of the water lets the heart beat with an increase in power and steadiness. Improved circulation helps deliver oxygen rich blood to various parts of the body. Soakers will feel better overall.
In addition, when the heart pumps blood more easily, breathing slows and calms. Controlling your breath, a central aspect of meditation and mindfulness, has a calming effect. Deep, regular breathing reduces cortisol secretion. Lowering cortisol can lead to fewer cravings for fatty, sweet and salty foods.
Improving the quality of your sleep helps lower stress
Millions of people struggle to with their sleep at least one night a week. The hot tub can be a powerful sleep aid. People can take a break from the white-light-emitting screens that can interfere with the brain’s ability to kick into night mode.
Stress can keep us awake at night. Even worse, these sleepless nights can lead us straight to the fridge for a midnight snack.
Before-bed hot tub soaks stimulate the body’s relaxation response, and is calorie-free!
Spending Time in an outdoor hot tub is relaxing
University of Utah cognitive behaviorist Dr. David Strayer believes that time in nature allows the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s command center, to dial down and rest, like an overused muscle. He found that as the brain enters a more relaxed state, production of cortisol decreases.
In a similar study, Japanese researchers sent 84 subjects to seven different forests. They dispatched the same number to city centers. The forest explorers experienced a 16 percent decrease in cortisol, a 2 percent drop in blood pressure, and a 4 percent drop in heart rate.
Our bodies tend to relax in natural surroundings.
The hot tub can send you to a place beneath the stars, experiencing your natural surroundings. One hot tub user found that “It is such a relaxing experience to be in the hot tub at night looking up at the stars around us.” Another relates, “Gazing down on the trees below or up at the stars is always a heavenly experience.” The sights of trees and stars have significant physiological effects.
Did you know that just 1 in 10 American teens spend time outside every day? The endless responsibilities parents and adults have also keeps them indoors as well.
The hot tub helps get owners outdoors in full view of nature. Who knows what you’ll see while enjoying your hot tub.
Explore the stress and obesity connection
For years, America has wondered, “What’s behind America’s obesity epidemic?”
- Our high standard of living?
- The Western diet of red meat, sugary drinks and refined grains?
- A sedentary, screen-obsessed lifestyle?
- The explosion of unhealthy fast food and other restaurants on every corner? (Today, the average restaurant meal is four times larger than it was in the 1950’s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.)
These are all factors, but many researchers now conclude that stress may be the primary underlying cause of obesity. Given the amount of stress we all experience today, a hot tub could be the relaxing reward to the ongoing battles we endure every day.