What is the Ideal Length of Time to Spend in a Hot Tub?
You’ve probably heard that soaking for too long in a hot tub isn’t safe. But, just what does that mean? How long is too long? There is no black and white answer here, but we can give you a few guidelines that will help figure out the ideal length of time to spend in the hot tub—in your case. That way you can enjoy every health-boosting, relaxing moment in your hot tub without a worry.
When finding the ideal length of time to stay in the water, there are four things to consider: water temperature, immersion, age, and health condition.
Unless you’re brand new to hot-tubbing, you’ve probably already found the water temperature that feels best for you. Some people enjoy soaking in very hot water of 104°F while others prefer the 98°F to 100°F range. If you’re a healthy adult, any temperature is okay. The thing to remember is that the hotter the water is, the less time you can soak at one time.
While you’re enjoying a muscle-relaxing hydromassage in the warm water, you probably aren’t even conscious that your body is regulating your internal temperature by sweating. One of the benefits of warm water therapy is that it raises your core temperature, but too much isn’t a good thing. So your body perspires to keep your core temperature in a safe range. However, after a while, you will begin to get dehydrated. If you get too dehydrated, you could start to feel dizzy, have a headache, or even faint.
That’s why we always recommend you drink water or fruit juices to stay hydrated during your hot tub soak. And keep your soaks to a moderate length. So, just how long can you soak? In general, a healthy adult can soak 15-30 minutes in 100°F to 102°F water, and 15-20 minutes at 104°F. These times aren’t carved in stone. The best thing you can do is listen to your body. If you start to feel uncomfortable, it’s time to get out.
Keeping your core at a safe temperature and preventing dehydration is why it’s important to limit the time you spend in your hot tub at once. However, there is an easy modification you can make that will allow you to soak for longer: Don’t fully immerse.
If you’re sitting in warm water up to your neck, your core temperature is going to increase faster than if you’re only in warm water up to your waist. So, if you want to stay in the spa longer, spend at least part of the time with your torso above the water.
Age also plays an important role in determining how your body reacts to warm water. Children and elderly people are particularly heat-sensitive.
For kids, we recommend they use a seat where they are only partially immersed. Then, lower the water temperature for their safety. If the water is 102°F or less, kids (age 5-12) can soak for up to 15 minutes at a time. If the hot tub is set to its max temperature of 104°F, kids should be limited to less than 5 minutes in the water.
For elderly users, it’s a good idea to start with cooler water and less time and then work your way up. If you take a 15-minute soak at 102°F and remain comfortable the whole time, next time you can try increasing the water temperature or staying in the hot tub longer.
Did you know that some medical conditions and medications affect your heat-sensitivity? For example, not only are pregnant women more prone to dehydration, but it’s important they keep their core temperature 101°F or below. Other conditions may also require you to limit your hot tub use or lower the temperature. To be safe, if you have a medical condition, seek your doctor’s recommendations about using the hot tub.
Follow these guidelines, and you can easily find the ideal length of time you should be hot-tubbing. Got other questions about using or caring for your hot tub? Call us at 970-331-0254 or visit us in Vail or Frisco!