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7 hot tub health benefits for immune defence

whitemead forest park hot tube

photo source: Whitemead Forest Park

The use of hot tubs, or spas, for therapeutic benefits dates back centuries, with records showing hot water bathing practices utilised by ancient civilisations. In recent years, the wellness industry has been increasingly exploring the specific health gains regular hot tub bathing can provide users.

In this article, we will explore the mounting evidence that suggests enjoying a hot tub can provide surprising hot tub health benefits for one’s immune system defences. We’ll also explore how the controlled heat, massaging water jets, and mineral-rich water work together to support the body’s natural defences in numerous ways.


  • Hot tubs enhance immune defence through heat-based stress relief, detox sweating, restorative sleep, social joy, hydration and Vitamin D absorption.
  • According to a study, hydrotherapy using a hot tub improves sleep, aligning with many users reporting deeper rest.
  • Hot tub use lowers blood pressure and boosts vascular function to reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • While clinical studies are limited, growing evidence backs up anecdotal accounts of hot tubs benefiting immune health through multiple pathways.

Exploring the hot tub health benefits for strong immune defence

Let’s take a look at the following benefits that hot tubs offer in bolstering our immune system: 

1. Stress relief

Chronic stress is known to harm immune function, triggering cortisol and adrenaline release which weakens the body’s inflammatory response and immune cell production. Exploring one of the hot tub health benefits reveals that regular use of it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, initiating “rest and digest” mode. 

This results in muscle relaxation, lower blood pressure, and reduced cognitive stress. The calming environment of a hot tub further alleviates mental tension, aiding the immune system in focusing on recovery.

2. Improved cardiovascular health

Relaxing in a hot tub can provide cardiovascular benefits by raising heart rate and lowering blood pressure. According to a 2016 study, hot water immersion may have “robust” effects on vascular function and blood pressure. 

In the same study, it is suggested that passive heat therapy may help reduce cardiovascular risk and mortality, especially among those with limited ability to exercise. Earlier research also 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. 

The heat and hydrotherapy cause dilation of blood vessels, increasing blood flow and oxygen circulation while removing lactic acid buildup. This combo of effects supports heart health and offers similar gains in cardiovascular fitness as exercise. 

As cardiovascular strength is tied to immune defence, enhancing heart health through regular hot tub use can thereby help the body fight infection more effectively.

3. Restful sleep

It is common for a nice long soak in a warm hot tub right before bedtime to result in deeper, higher-quality sleep. Researchers believe the rapid bodily heating followed by cooling positively alters melatonin cycles. 

This important sleep-regulating hormone is boosted, signalling the brain to feel sleepy. As lack of sleep severely impacts the production of immune cells, the improved sleep hot tub users report allows the body to fully restore overnight. Individuals may thereby wake feeling refreshed. 

A 2012 study of females with fibromyalgia between ages 30-65 found hydrotherapy helped improve sleep quality along with other symptoms. This aligns with user reports of better sleep. While the sample size was small, the findings make sense given the relaxation prompted by a nice hot soak eases muscle tension and mental activity. 

This enables the body to transition into deeper REM cycles crucial for immune defence. Those struggling with insomnia or restlessness may find frequent hot tub sessions especially beneficial for achieving the high-quality, restorative sleep essential to fighting infection. While more research is still needed, evidence indicates hot tub use can aid sleep.

4. Vitamin D production

While often overlooked, a noteworthy hot tub health benefit of outdoor hot tubs is the opportunity to absorb natural Vitamin D. Moderate UV ray exposure triggers essential vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Also known as the “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D plays a major immunosupportive role in pathogen defence and suppression of inflammation. 

Even just 15-20 minutes of hot tub time on one’s porch, patio or deck can increase the body’s vitamin D intake. This helps equip immune cells to function at their peak. Those with limited outdoor time or living in northern climates can especially benefit during colder months. 

Seeking some midday rays while soaking enables sufficient vitamin D levels to be maintained year-round. With a widespread deficiency, purposefully using an outdoor hot tub may protect against illness.  

5. Social interaction

The social experience of sharing conversation and bonding in a relaxing hot tub is also tied to immune-boosting hot tub health benefits. Positive engagement with loved ones results in laughter and joy that counter the stress hormones compromising immunity. 

Some researchers point to evidence suggesting these meaningful interpersonal connections support the body’s physical capacity to fight infection via top-down cognitive influence on physiology. 

The relaxing setting prompts openness and cognitive relief from daily worries. This not only feels nourishing emotionally but may send signals enhancing biological immune defence.

6. Detoxification  

Sweating is a natural bodily process for eliminating toxins like BPA, phthalates and other compounds that can accumulate over time. Sitting in hot water for an extended period induces perspiration much like a sauna session. 

The boosted sweat production then allows pores to open and the skin to purge environmental toxins, pollutants, heavy metals and other burdens. This cleanses the body inside and out. Sweating may also flush bacteria and viruses from pores on the skin’s surface. 

Such detoxification eases demands on the liver and kidneys while providing immune relief. Some users even add detox-boosting essential oils or salt scrubs to further capitalise on hot tubs’ cleansing potential.  

7. Improved hydration

The heat and steam effect of hot water leads to increased respiration, sweating and bodily fluid loss. It is critical to properly rehydrate before, during and after hot tub use to counterbalance the heightened demand for water. 

Keeping hydrated is hugely impactful for immune health, as water composes 75% of lymph fluid. Well-hydrated lymph fluid effectively removes pathogens, dead cells, and waste. 

Adequate hydration also allows for nutrient absorption and flow of antibodies, white blood cells and other protectors. Users should sip cool water and continue plentiful intake afterwards as well. Proper hydration habits amplify overall gains.

Finding your perfect hot tub with RotoSpa 

The unique environment hot tubs provide offers measurable gains for improving immune function through various pathways. As you explore purchasing a hot tub for your home, RotoSpa hot tubs are ready to match your needs. 

Our team will assess your wellness goals, yard dimensions, budget and requirements to recommend the ideal hot tub model and added features to invest in for fortifying your health. As an established brand with customization availability, RotoSpa simplifies getting started with this rejuvenating habit.

Ready to learn more? Our hot tub specialists eagerly welcome your questions on sizing, financing, installation, maintenance and maximizing at-home hydrotherapy benefits through an ideal purchase. Contact us now and we’re here to guide you to better wellbeing through owning your perfect spa retreat.

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