Are Hot Tubs Safe For Those With High Blood Pressure?
Happy Hearts in Hot Tubs. That’s the good news. Scientific evidence shows no harm from a hot tub soak for people with high blood pressure. Soaking in a hot tub is of great benefit to your heart and is a hot topic for February which is American Heart Month.
All of the naysayers, the “they say” old wives tales say you shouldn’t soak in a hot tub if you have high blood pressure.
A study by three researchers in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology and the Cardiovascular Risk Factor Reduction Unit at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, showed no adverse effects from a 10-minute soak.
“Are hot tubs safe for people with treated hypertension?” by Tae Won Shin, Merne Wilson, and Thomas W. Wilson describes their study that involved 21 people with treated high blood pressure (hypertension) and 23 without high blood pressure. The work was published in the peer-reviewed Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The researchers checked each person’s symptoms, heart rate, and blood pressure before, during, and after a 10-minute soak in a hot tub at 104° F. All of them experienced lower blood pressure and increased heart rate during the soak, but all had returned to the before-soak rates within 10 minutes of leaving the tub.
“We recorded no severe adverse effects before, during or after immersion the hot tub,” the researchers wrote. “No subject reported more than very mild headache or dizziness. None complained of palpitations or chest discomfort…. In summary, we have shown that a 10-minute immersion in a hot tub is likely safe for most people with hypertension controlled with drug treatment. Physicians can reassure their patients.”
The researchers, who wrote in 2003, surveyed studies from 1966 to 2002 and found no evidence that a 10-minute hot tub soak posed riskes for people who are being treated for high blood pressure. Similarly, Drs. Marc Gillnov and Steven Nissen of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic worte in 2012 that such a session does no harm.
“Hot tubs and saunas do not cause heart attacks or heart problems or interfere with cardiac pacemakers,” they wrote. “As you enter the sauna or immerse yourself in the hot tub, blood vessels near the skin dilate (enlarge), causing a slight drop in blood pressure; this is rarely dangerous. You can minimize the impact of this blood pressure change by getting in and out slowly, which gives your body a moment to adjust to the temperature change.
We love sharing good news about hot tub health benefits. As always, we recommend checking with your own doctor for advice if you have any hesitation about hot tubbing for your health.
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