Just Add Water: Exercises to Increase Mobility in the Hot Tub

Just Add WaterWhen we think of hot tubs, many times relaxation, therapy, and good times with family and friends are the things that come to mind. Indeed, hot tubs are great for kicking back with friends, relaxing after work, or soothing muscles after a workout, but is there more? Let’s explore.

Sure, athletes might use a hot tub to ease muscle aches and recover. However, there’s another great use for spas. Athletes, and everybody else for that matter, can actually use a hot tub in another interesting way: exercising in the spa.

That’s right, exercising is one more way to enjoy and get great use out of your time in a hot tub. Actually, exercising in water can offer several advantages over conventional exercise.

Give Your Joints a Break

An important part of staying healthy is regular exercise. Different kinds of exercise, like jogging or weight lifting, can increase stamina and cardiovascular health or build strength in specific muscle groups. But conventional exercises have a downside. They are often hard on joints.

Running, for example, can really wear out knees and ankles. Every time your foot hits the pavement or track, shock is transferred up and absorbed by the ankles, shins, knees, and hips. In moderation, this probably won’t cause much trouble. Over long periods of time, or in cases of pre-existing joint pain, running can really hurt those bones.

Water exercise, though, doesn’t hurt the joints at all. There is no hard ground to pound your foot and no jarring shocks to your joints. You get the same cardio workout, but no joint stress.

Arthritis and Muscle Aches

Sometimes pre-existing conditions or old injuries make exercise more painful than it should be. Arthritis, especially in older people, can make lifting weights or walking very painful. Muscular injuries like pulls or sprains prevent full range of motion and cause pain during exercise.

People suffering from this kind of condition may find hot tub exercise a much better alternative. Submersion in water applies gentle pressure to the entire surface of the body, created by the body’s buoyancy and water pressure. This pressure floats the body and relieves muscle and bone pain by helping take the strain off of injured bones or muscles.

If you have bone or muscle pain when lifting weights (even light weights), try doing it in a hot tub instead. The soothing heat and water pressure may be the perfect combination to make exercise enjoyable again!

Hot Tub Enticement

The most important advantage to exercise in a hot tub is that it’s in a hot tub! Hot tubs are fun and relaxing, so you’re bound to exercise longer and more often. Friends or family may be hesitant to hit the gym with you, but they’re sure to love joining in on a hot tub exercise session!

Adding JetPaks to Your Hot Tub For Fun and Therapy

If you are looking for a little bit of fun and therapy within your custom hot tub or portable spa, there’s no better way to achieve these results than by choosing to go with JetPaks. The JetPak Therapy System is exclusive to Bullfrog Spas and was designed to provide users with an amazing hydro massage sensation that can be personalized specifically for you.JetPaks-banner

Hot Tub Therapy for Each Individual

Each and every jet used in the Bullfrog hot tub with JetPaks serves a different purpose to massage and provide wellness for all types of therapy objectives. By opting to add JetPaks to your at-home hot tub, you will have the ability to enjoy a therapeutic hydrotherapy session right in your own backyard, whenever you desire. There is truly no more customized and personalized experience that you can have in a hot tub.Exchanging a JetPak in a Bullfrog Spa

Types of Jets and Therapeutic Benefits

There are many different types of JetPaks that you may opt to add to your hot tub. Each JetPak has its own focus that can help provide you with therapy, relaxation, and fun at the same time. Each JetPak is created using different jets that each have their own specific therapy use. Let’s discuss these individual jets.

DeepRelief hot tub jetDeepRelief Jets are some of the most popular and most powerful jets. Many people choose to add at least one JetPak with these jets to their hot tubs. You can relieve extreme day to day tension with the help of this intense-powered jet that was specifically designed to provide you with a focused deep-tissue massage in your spa. If you are dealing with aches and muscle pains, JetPaks using this jet will be the the ideal for you.

FirmRelief Hot Tub JetFirmRelief Jets provide hot tub owners with a steady firm massage designed to help to relax and remove the tension from various muscle groups. For a great mix of therapy and relaxation look for JetPaks that feature this jet.

Dual Pulse Hot Tub JetBoth Single Pulse Jets and Dual Pulse Jets use a rhythmic pulsing motion to give you a kneading pressure that provides extreme relaxation and relief of tension. DualPulse jets are a bit quicker in their intervals between pulses and SinglePulse jets provide a slower more relaxing massage.

If you are looking to address certain parts of your body with your hot tub massages, you may opt for Target Therapy Jets. These types of jets are placed in various areas of the hot tub and focus on high tension parts of the body like feet, calves, wrists, and hips. Firm pressure will relieve your muscles, giving you a relaxing and rejuvenated feel.

Oscillator Hot Tub JetOther types of exclusive jets only available in JetPaks include Oscillator Jets and Shower Jets. The Oscillator Jets provide an wide ranging massaging action that covers a large area of your back with a figure-8 kneading motion for maximum relaxation. Shower Jets are like a dream with their light and soothing caressing feel. This is the perfect massage for escaping your cares for a while.

Fun With JetPaks

Not only do JetPaks provide users with hydrotherapy relief in their spa, but also add in a little bit of fun. You can experience new and unique feelings while relaxing in the comfort of your very own hot tub. Whether you’re looking for deep-tissue massages, soothing motions, firm relief or kneading actions, adding JetPaks allows you to experience it all, offering a fun and relaxing time at home.

Making Memories: Tips for Keeping Family Time a Priority

Making Memories Tips for Keeping Family Time a PrioritySpending time with family is one of the most important parts of life, but can easily be neglected with busy schedules, and an overload of responsibilities. By establishing a few habits through simple steps you can begin to bond with each family member now and create stronger long-term relationships.

Plan Fun Activities

Although the living room is often the most common place for the family to congregate, it can often make for too much routine and repetitive time spent together, for a family that needs some variety. Try to plan a few fun nights each month for the family to go out, whether to a favorite restaurant, or to the local fair. By having fun together, it will be easier to bond and you will form true friendships within the family unit. Have each family member take a turn to plan the family activity each week and opt for activities that include going out for ice cream, spending time riding bikes, or enjoying time together in hot tubs, all activities that are low-stress and involve minimal planning and cost.

Forget About The Chores

According to The Quarterly Journal of Economics, having more time for leisure activities has risen since 1965 from four to eight hours a week, due to less time spent cooking and cleaning. By hiring a professional cleaning service once or twice a month, and cooking more simple and convenient meals, it will provide less stress when it comes to approaching family time for peace of mind.

Make Family Vacations a Tradition

Make it a rule to take a family trip together each year, which will make for valuable memories and intentional time where the family spends several days exploring a new place without interruption. Plan the vacation each year, and vote on what destination will be visited, along with the planned activities on the excursion. For kids, a trip to Disneyland or Disney World is appropriate, along with camping in Yosemite, taking a cruise to the Bahamas, or experiencing the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It will require time spent together planning the trip, and will help each family member to truly value and appreciate the tradition.

Eat Dinner Together

Make it a habit to always sit down for dinner together, whether over pizza, or a four-course meal. Schedule dinner for the same time every night, and ask each child to help with the cooking or setting of the table. It will provide a good amount of time each day of the week to practice communication and continue to get to know one another.

Don’t Feel Older as You Age: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Youth

Don't Feel Older as You Age 5 Tips for Keeping Your YouthNo one should wait until they are too old to begin taking care of their body. There are so many things we can do to maintain a youthful mind and body now.

No matter who you are and how old you are, there are things to do that will help you live a stronger and more vibrant life and it is never too late to make changes. Below are 5 tips that will promote a more youthful you.

Starting Early

Never wait until you are too old, to start taking care of yourself and your body. Believe it or not, the signs of aging will start creeping up on you in your 20s and 30s. Most of us never think twice about aging and the long-term effects of our choices at that age. But age will happen much quicker than you think. Whatever your age, start now to make positive changes!

Drinking Water

You should drink an adequate amount of water every day. Most people go about their daily business without even realizing they are becoming dehydrated. This is one reason why you might develop dry skin and eventually wrinkles. Bring a water bottle with you from home and take it everywhere you go, even while just driving and running errands. This can also save you money at the end of they day. You might otherwise feel the need to stop at a gas station or fast food restaurant for something less much less healthy like a soda or coffee.

Watch Your Diet and Learn to Eat

Use common sense when it comes to your diet. Eat a little more often but a little less each time. The more you eat great stuff from nature like fresh fruits and vegetables, the more this will become what you crave. The convenience of fast food is horrible for your appearance and health. The old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is something to keep in mind when watching your weight and overall wellness.

Exercising

Make sure you exercise regularly. The most important thing about exercising is consistency; if you start consistently walking, riding a bike, surfing, golfing, jogging, skateboarding or anything else, you will see the benefits of your efforts. Minimally, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Make time out of your schedule to begin regular fitness, or join a group so you always have support when you start.

Take Time for You

Last but not least, take the time out every day to do something relaxing for yourself. This might be reading a book out on the back porch for 20 minutes, or spending time in a hot tub just letting your muscles and body relax. Nothing is better after a hard days work than coming home to sink into a nice, bubbling hot tub. It is the perfect ending to the day.

We might not be able to do much about our age, but with more information we can start with some simple steps to regain wellness. Why not start taking care of your body today and maintain and regain your youth?

Using a Hot Tub as Part of Your Workout? Benefits for Athletes

soccer-workout

Hard training athletes consistently push their bodies to the limit. In order to develop the capabilities necessary to complete at a high level, athletes must balance the physical stress of training with appropriate recovery. If the body is not given the proper opportunity for rest and recuperation, one will not increase in strength or develop stamina from training. Without proper recovery, you might run the risk of physical and mental burnout from excessive training, along with increased odds of injury. As such, hot tubs should be included as an important component of a workout.

Physical Benefits

Hot tubs serve as a great tool for promoting physical recovery from hard training. The warm water in a hot tub promotes recovery by allowing muscles to relax and circulate more blood through the tissue. This increases the delivery of vital nutrients that promote the recovery process. The massaging jets in hot tubs provide an additional benefit of manually loosening tight muscles. One can direct the strong streams of water at various body parts that are sore and stiff from training. This serves as a form of passive massage, warming and loosening the muscles. Loose, warm muscles are easier to stretch than tight, cold muscles. Hot tubs serve as an ideal preparation for a post-training stretching session.

Mental Benefits

Beyond the numerous physical benefits, hot tubs will allow hard training athletes with an opportunity to mentally unwind and relax from the psychological stress of training. When placed in a quiet environment, hot tubs provide an ideal setting for one to meditate on a recently completed workout, review plans for future training, or visualize one’s performance in upcoming competition. On the other hand, hot tubs can also serve as an opportunity for individuals to bond with fellow team or community members after a tough training session or recreational game. It is often difficult to have a simple conversation with a teammate or training partner when trying to perfect a drill or run a wind sprint in the actual course of a practice. Athletes who use hot tubs together during post-practice recovery sessions will have the opportunity to develop stronger bonds and a deeper understanding of their teammates through frequent conversation. These bonds often promote better communication and a higher level of competition performance for team sport athletes. Athletes training for individual-level competition, such as swimming or track and field, can still benefit through more meaningful relationships with their training partners.

Relieve Soreness: Recovery Basics for New Runners

running-womenRunning is obviously great for your health, a good way to stay in shape, plus it can provide an amazing sense of accomplishment when you reach your running goals. However, if you’re not used to working out, running can leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus the next day. Post-workout soreness can make getting through the day a painful and annoying ordeal. Fortunately, there are many ways you can combat post-running soreness.

Massage Therapy

Massage works wonders for muscle soreness after a run. It helps eliminate lactic acid buildup, improves blood flow to the muscles, reduces inflammation, helps stretch and elongate muscle fibers, and helps them repair faster. Don’t be afraid of indulging in a post-workout massage every now and then when the soreness doesn’t seem to go away as quickly as it should.

Eat Healthy

As a high-energy sport, running requires you to get plenty of fuel, even after you’re done. While a meal replacement bar, or protein shake is better than nothing, they don’t provide you with much in the way of good calories or nutrients. It’s important to make everything you eat count, so you can get back on your feet again.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are a popular way to ease the soreness caused by running. Most runners use them after the initial swelling goes down to speed recovery and help them get ready for the next run. The heat of the water relaxes muscles and soothes pain and stiffness. The hot water also encourages better blood circulation, which provides tired muscles with nutrients and oxygen to help them heal.

Rest Up

The importance of rest following a run cannot be overstated. In fact, you can look at post-workout soreness as a cue that you need to take it easy. If it hurts to move, your muscles are trying to tell you that should avoid vigorous activity. It’s good for even experienced runners to occasionally allow at least one day for resting, but beginning runners may need two to four days to fully recover.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is huge barrier to fast recovery from soreness. The more inflamed your muscles are, the longer it will take them to heal. To control inflammation, supplements like bromelain, cayenne pepper, ginger, and turmeric can be very helpful. Soaking in a cold bath is another way to fight inflammation and is convenient for treating large areas. It’s also helpful to avoid eating refined sugars during your recovery as these promote inflammation and increase pain.

Stretches

Sore muscles often benefit from light activity during recovery, and stretching is an ideal way to accommodate this. By relieving tightness and bolstering blood flow, you can enjoy freer movement and less pain. Be careful not to overdo your stretching to the point that you cause injury to recovering muscles.

Sleep Plenty

Good sleep is critical to soreness reduction. During certain stages of sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which is responsible for most of the repair functions that go on inside. It’s recommended that you get at least eight hours of uninterrupted shut-eye, but you should take as much as you feel you need.

Following these tips can help you decrease your recovery time and make running more enjoyable.

Hot Tubs and Healing Power: Relieve Stress and Stiffness

Healing Hot TubsA warm water soak has been used to relieve stress, stiffness and pain since the dawn of mankind. Today, people have hot tubs to help manage these physical conditions. Having your own hot tub is a convenience that helps to improve your health and your quality of life. You can use your hot tub any time you need to unwind, relieve muscle tightness or manage discomfort.

Headaches

Millions of people deal with headaches on a regular basis. Generally, headache is due to the tension that tightens muscles in the face, neck, upper back and shoulders. Soaking in a hot tub for a period of time can help to relieve stress and the muscle tension that leads to headache pain. You can rely less on over-the-counter pain medications and enjoy the natural relief of a warm soak.

Back Pain

Simple back strains can occur from overuse, from athletic activities, from stress or from sudden movements. If you have chronic back problems, a hot tub can provide the daily relief you need to carry on your normal activities. It can be used to help both upper and lower back stiffness and pain. You will find that movement is easier after using your hot tub.

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by the normal wear and tear on joints. This type of arthritis usually develops as people get older. The condition can cause swelling, stiffness and pain in the knees, ankles, hips, shoulders or spine. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that can worsen over time. Soaking in a hot tub can help to relieve the stiffness and pain from osteoarthritis, helping to keep you limber and pain-free.

Sports Injuries

If you are a weekend warrior that enjoys a rousing game of basketball, softball or football with friends, you may find that your activities bring on a number of aches and pains. Twisted knees, strained back and sore shoulders are common injuries that a good soak in a hot tub can help to relieve. A hot tub can keep your minor sports injuries from getting in the way of your other activities.

The Jetpak Therapy System

Bullfrog spas offer a unique technology called the JetPak Therapy System that allows you to choose the type of hydro massage for your needs. JetPaks are easily interchanged from any seat to any other seat in your hot tub so that you can adjust the massage type and pressure to relieve your discomfort, from Pulsator to Wellness and many more. This technology allows you to design your hot tub to fit your own specific needs.

Warm or Cold: 5 Ways to Relax Year Round

Relaxation Techniques Anytime

Relaxation is important for your overall health. In fact, it is essential for all elements of well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Learning to relax can help you rediscover your passions and zeal for life. Unfortunately, the demands of work, school and family can take a toll on your wellness. Stressful situations can lead to many different problems, from weight gain and illness to discontent and depression. Fortunately, there are ways to relax and reduce stress in every season, rain or shine. Here are five examples.

Accept Your Stressors

Accepting stress is the first step toward relaxation. While some stress is helpful for motivation and balance, too much stress can harm you. Knowing the signs — from headaches and muscle tension to irritability and loss of focus — can alert you to stress before it gets worse. Once you recognize the signs and accept your stressors, you can make room in your life for relaxation. Have daily fun, like an after-work soak in the hot tub, and be sure to get adequate sleep. Until it comes naturally, you may have to schedule relaxation on your calendar.

Practice Deep Breathing

Relaxation techniques are simple exercises designed to reduce stress. Deep breathing is the easiest way to calm yourself, winter or summer. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, and hold each breath for five seconds. Repeat this breathing process ten times. As you exhale, visualize the tension leaving your body. Practice this technique any time, and anywhere for a relaxed feeling in short order.

Exercise Every Day

Regular exercise is a proven way to reduce or eliminate stress. Contrary to common belief, it actually energizes your tired body. When stress occurs, the benefits you receive from regular exercise can help you overcome it. Plan your exercise according to the weather or season. On warm, sunny days, take a hike in the woods, walk in the park, or swim laps in the pool. Hit the gym or your treadmill on cold, rainy days. Schedule exercise on your calendar until it becomes a habit.

Try Massage Therapy

Massage is the ultimate relaxation therapy. Studies show that massage can decrease the level of cortisol, a stress hormone. Massage sets your body to a rest and recovery mode that lets you relax. Moreover, the effects can linger for hours afterward. Massage studios and spas offer various styles and techniques to jump-start the relaxation process. Improved relaxation promotes mental calmness, alertness, and creative thinking. It can even give you a better outlook on life.

Cuddle Your Pets

Pets are very good stress-reducers. Many nursing homes use pet therapy to address stress and anxiety in their patients. You can do the same thing in your own home throughout the year. Cuddling your pets relaxes you and them. As you play with your pets, talk to them about your problems, they will not mind. In fact, your pets will love the extra attention, and you will feel so much better.

What Benefits Do Hot Tubs Provide For Athletes?

Hot Tubs and Sports and Exercise

athletes and hot tubs

If you are an athlete, then you may want to consider soaking in the hot tub before and after a workout. There are a number of ways that you can benefit from soaking in a hot tub. Below are some of those potential benefits:

Reduce Your Risk Of Injury

Soaking in a hot tub before you work out can help loosen up your muscles. This will make it easier for you to exercise, and reduce your chances of suffering an injury. Depending on your sport or activity, soaking in a hot tub before exercising can help improve performance. When muscles are loose and ready your agility and speed can increase.

Reduce Soreness And Stiffness

Muscle soreness and stiffness are two very common complaints that athletes have. Most athletes experience the soreness and stiffness the day after they exercise. Warm water therapy helps your blood vessels dilate, or expand. This helps increase blood flow to the muscles and skin and can help prevent soreness and stiffness.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a problem that is fairly common in athletes who work out later in the day, or those who are simply prone to insomnia. Studies have shown that people who soak in hot tubs one hour before they go to bed usually have an easier time falling asleep. It isn’t hard to see why the warm, swirling water might be beneficial in helping you relax.

Treating Injuries and Ailments

Soaking in a hot tub can also help ease the pain of an existing injury. There was a study done in 1995, published in the British Journal of Rheumatology with people who suffered from chronic low back pain who were asked to soak in a hot tub every day. The results of the study showed that the subjects experienced both short and long-term back pain relief. In another study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, a group of researchers from France examined the effects that consistent hot tub therapy had on pain and the subjects noticed a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in flexibility. They were also able to reduce their reliance on anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers.

Soaking in a hot tub before your workout can reduce your chances of suffering an injury. It can also reduce muscle soreness and stiffness and help you treat an existing injury. If you are an athlete or just simply training to be one, don’t forget the benefits that heat therapy can have on your workout and be sure to consult your physician to be sure this is the right treatment for you.

Healing With Heat: Benefits of Heat Therapy

Healing With Heat Benefits of Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a natural way to alleviate, and often cure, body pain. One desirable aspect to this approach in pain management, is that it tends to ease tension and pain quickly, without medication. Heat therapy is also a user-friendly approach, as it is executed with little to no physical exertion. Another benefit to this method of pain relief is that it can be done on an individual basis (i.e. you can do it alone and without assistance).

Following is a little quick information regarding heat therapy.*

How Does It Help?

Heat therapy helps reduce, or remove altogether, aches and pains, especially those occurring in relation to muscle tension, stress, and joint damage. There are several ways heat therapy can help; it can remove stiffness, temper aches and pains, promotes blood flow which speeds up the healing process, and reduce or arrests muscle spasms.

Benefits

fitness-womanAlthough there are benefits for many people, athletes are probably the demographic that currently takes advantage of heat therapy the most. Athletes are constantly pushing their bodies in search of better performances; an edge over the competition in a way. And while strained or sore muscles can often be addressed by a good round of stretching, sometimes that is not enough.

Allowing muscle tissue to move without restriction is the ultimate goal, and stretching, sometimes, can exacerbate some muscle and joint injuries and conditions. Heat therapy, however, can be applied anywhere on the body, free of muscle damage or over-taxation. One oft-used therapeutic method in this regard is a hot tub. Hot tubs allow a person to submerge their entire body and take advantage of evenly applied general hydrotherapy, as opposed to a heating pad or other localized option.

Best Times to Use Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is best utilized after the initial trauma and swelling have subsided. This is usually days after the initial injury. Heat therapy is effective in the treatment of lingering injuries, or to finalized the therapy of almost-healed conditions. It is often recommend that anyone making use of heat therapy also do so before they engage in strenuous work or exercise. In general you are discouraged from using heat therapy immediately following exercise or labor-intensive work.

The Brain and Pain

Exciting the sensory receptors of the skin, heat therapy minimizes how often the skin and muscles send pain impulses to areas of the brain controlling such physiological processes. The inevitable result is a reduction of pain altogether. The nice thing about this natural therapy is that it does not simply mask symptoms, it can actually heal damaged areas of the body.

Increased Blood Circulation

Blood circulation is essential in arresting aches and pain, and heat therapy is touted as being perhaps the best at promoting this. As a general rule of thumb, heat therapy should begin not before one day, but no more than two days after sustaining an injury.* Heating pads are a convenient and easily applicable way in delivering heat to specific areas of the body, and so is often the first recommended step. Hot water bottles or hot/warm towels also give the same desired affect. Cancer patients undergoing chemo or radiation therapy stand to benefit from this procedure. Interestingly, healthcare professional are beginning to suggest that heat therapy may actually enhance the affects of radiation therapy. Soaking in a hot tub, in other words, might just help your body fight off that cancer once and for all.

Increased Oxygen Circulation

Heat therapy is also great for widening blood vessels, which in turn improves blood flow and circulation. A physiological necessity such as oxygen transport, is aided by these newly-acquired gains. All of the aforementioned enhancements work together during the healing process. They also contribute to raising energy levels, and making the cell division and regeneration processes of our bodies more efficient. As a cautionary piece of advice: Persons suffering from heart conditions or diabetes need to consult their physicians before undertaking a heat therapy regimen.

*consult your physician before beginning any heat therapy regimen