Words by Jack Franks
Question. Would you rather jog for 30 minutes, or relax in a hot tub, knowing you would get the same health benefits?
If you answered the latter, then you are not alone, and while this does seem like an inconceivable reality, independent research conducted by Coventry University’s Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences has uncovered potentially revolutionary data.
The research revealed that using a Lay-Z spa hot tub can boost cardiovascular levels, improve blood flow, and reduce salivary cortisol levels – a key indicator of stress in the body.
The multi-award-winning Lay-Z spa was founded in 2007, quickly becoming the industry leader due to its technology with over a decade of advanced engineering and innovation.
In a society where anxiety levels are constantly rising – a recent study discovered 1 in 10 Brits live with anxiety at one time – the option to relax and unwind in peaceful bliss whilst reaping a mental benefit will be music to many ears.
Muscle and Health put the running trainers away and dug out a pair of swim shorts to find out more.
What is a Lazy Spa hot tub?
In a nutshell, it’s a hot tub for those who want to cut out the hassle and minimize cost.
Lay-Z Spa is a brand of inflatable hot tubs designed for home use, offering portable and affordable options for people who want to enjoy the benefits of a hot tub without the permanence of a traditional, built-in spa taking up too much room.
All models are made of durable materials such as reinforced PVC or vinyl, feature a built-in pump and heater system can be inflated using the included pump, and once filled with water, can be heated to the desired temperature. There’s also a snazzy digital control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature and activate massage jets.
Some of the fancy perks and additional features include cushioned seats, water filtration systems and a cute drinks holder for champagne flutes (other drinking glasses are available).
Not a handyman? No problem.
Lay-Z Spa hot tubs are easy to set up. With no tools required, you can inflate most of their hot tubs in just five minutes with easy-to-follow instructions. That means more relaxation time!
How did scientists conduct the study?
Scientific research into Lay-Z Spa health benefits was carried out using a Majorca HydroJet Pro under strict lab conditions on 20 healthy participants: 16 males, and four females with an average age of 37.
Each participant had three 30-minute sessions on separate days, but at the same time, each person sat with arms submerged in water.
Researchers measured heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow, anxiety, salivary cortisol, mood, thermal perception and follow‑up with a questionnaire.
After the tests concluded, 13 of the 20 participants agreed they would happily use a Lay‑Z‑Spa at home multiple times a week.
What did the research study reveal?
Researchers revealed that using a Lay-Z-Spa had significant cardiovascular benefits. Following immersion, blood flow to the legs increased by 345% on average, similar to the effects of a 30-minute jog, while heart rate also increased by 31 BPM on average, the same as a 30-minute brisk walk.
One of the key reasons this was achieved was due to the Lazy-Z-Spa models heating system, which allows water to maintain a constant temperature.
The ground-breaking product-specific study also found that salivary cortisol dropped by 22% after immersion in the Lay-Z-Spa. Cortisol is an indicator of stress, with continuous high levels leading to long-term health conditions.
Most of the research participants were classified as having low anxiety, signifying that the results could have been even greater if conducted on those with higher anxiety levels.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. To put that into perspective, Centres For Disease Control and Prevention reports that one person dies every 33 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
The Coventry University researchers believe regularly using a Lay-Z-Spa could be a positive lifestyle change that could improve physical and mental health, including for those living sedentary lives due to health conditions.
What did the scientists say?
Dr. Tom Cullen, Assistant Professor of Research, Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences at Coventry University, led the research.
Following the study, Dr. Tom Cullen said: “In modern society, many people are unfortunately leading highly stressed and physically inactive lifestyles, which can result in poor health outcomes and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
“As a researcher, I am interested in exploring ways to improve people’s lives through lifestyle modifications. Many typical modifications such as exercise, dieting and quitting smoking are often difficult for many people to maintain for a variety of reasons.
“Regularly using a Lay-Z-Spa, however, offers an excellent way of providing a lifestyle modification that has many health benefits, but crucially, is something which people enjoy doing.”
What are the general health benefits of hot tubs?
The potential benefits of using a hot tub vary from person to person, with much depending on your overall health and how you use it.
Here are seven possible benefits of soaking in a hot tub.
One of the most obvious benefits of a hot tub is the potential to help ease the day’s tensions. The soothing effect of the warm water and massaging action may help relieve physical, emotional, and mental stress.
The hot water and massaging action of the hot tub jets can be an effective way to help relax and soothe tight, tense muscles. This can help ease aches and pains.
A hot tub soak before exercising may also reduce the risk of injury.
According to research, the simple relaxation gained from a soak in the hot tub may be enough to help you drift off into a more peaceful sleep.
An older study Trusted Source, evaluated passive body heating as a treatment for insomnia in older adults. The study was small and subjective but found that hot baths promoted significantly deeper and more restful sleep.
A 2012 studyTrusted Source looked at the effects of hydrotherapy on physical function and sleep quality for people with fibromyalgia. It was a small study involving females between 30 and 65. The researchers concluded that hydrotherapy helped improve sleep quality and other fibromyalgia symptoms.
Soaking in a hot tub may relieve pain by relaxing tense muscles, joints, and tendons.
If you have arthritis, the heat and massaging action may help ease the stiffness and inflammation that cause pain.
Water supports your body and takes the weight off joints, which helps improve flexibility and range of motion. You might gain some of these benefits in a warm bath as well.
Better cardiovascular health
Relaxing in a hot tub can raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
According to a 2016 studyTrusted Source, hot water immersion may have “robust” effects on vascular function and blood pressure. The authors of the study suggested that passive heat therapy may help reduce cardiovascular risk and mortality, especially among those with limited ability to exercise.
Earlier researchTrusted Source found that immersion in a hot tub for 10 minutes may lower blood pressure and is likely safe for most people with treated high blood pressure.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Some researchers hypothesizeTrusted Source that regular thermal therapy using saunas or hot baths may improve impaired insulin sensitivity and be beneficial for managing diabetes.
Additionally, a 2015 review Trusted Source found that sauna and hot tub therapy may benefit people with obesity and diabetes.
In a small 2016 study, participants soaked in a waist-high hot bath for an hour and burned about the same number of calories as a 30-minute walk. That’s not to say that it should take the place of exercise, but it might help metabolism, particularly for those who find it hard to exercise.
You can purchase a Lay-Z-Spa and pay in monthly installments over the next 12 or 24 months from £20.80 per month with 0% interest – see further details here.