Eating healthy and exercising regularly is incredibly important, especially after filling your belly with hamburgers and ice cream for the past few months. However, dragging yourself to the gym three days a week can feel like a challenge when you’re working full time or caring for children. Exercising in a hot tub or swim spa makes a great alternative for those who want to burn fat and tone their muscles without even putting running shoes on.
When it comes to using a hot tub or swim spa for exercise purposes, there are tons of different things to consider. Before starting a routine, it’s wise to develop goals and a routine that will help you achieve them. Our knowledgeable team at AJ Spa & Hot Tubs knows all there is to know about spa-based exercises. With hopes of inspiring healthy lifestyle choices, we’ve created an all-encompassing guide to exercising in your hot tub or swim spa.
Prospective owners should note that the use of a hot tub or swim spa has many more benefits than just keeping you in great physical shape. For a full list of the health benefits one can reap from relaxing in a hot tub, click here.
Working out in the water is perfect for those who have preexisting joint conditions or injuries as it’s relatively low impact. Instead of sprinting on the treadmill at the gym, you can improve your cardiovascular stamina by treading water and performing cardio exercises in your hot tub or swim spa. Your achy joints will definitely thank you.
Exercising in a swim spa can also improve your strength and flexibility, especially if you use foam dumbbells or other pool accessories for resistance training. It can also increase circulation, burn calories, and rehabilitate muscles that are healing post-injury. Plus, feel good chemicals, called endorphins, are released when your heart rate is elevated during exercise. This means that you’ll feel much happier after exercising in your hot tub or swim spa. Combine the low impact exercise with your backyard’s stunning views and outdoor lighting, and you’ll feel as if you’re on cloud nine after your workout.
Those who have difficulty balancing can also greatly benefit from exercising in a hot tub or swim spa as the water will help keep you stable and upright.
When it comes to creating a realistic hot tub or swim spa exercise routine, the first thing you must consider is the frequency. The frequency of your workouts directly depends on your goals. If you’re wanting to lose weight and tone your muscles, you’ll need to exercise more than those who just want to improve their circulation and flexibility. Because your body temperature will be increased in your hot tub, it’s never a good idea to exceed 30 minutes in the hot tub at a time. Most swim spas have a slightly lower temperature, which means you can stay in it for longer.
In terms of goal setting, it’s crucial to focus on one goal at a time. Are you wanting to lose weight? Do you want to improve your core strength? Are you hoping to improve your mood? Are you wanting to heal an injury? Determining your motives for exercising in your hot tub or swim spa will help you create an attainable goal. All goals should be time specific so that you feel a sense of urgency to work toward them. It’s always a smart idea to start small with goals and then create larger goals once you start gaining momentum.
Those looking to get in shape or lose weight should consider exercising five days per week for 30 minutes at a time. Three days of cardiovascular activity combined with two days of strength and toning makes a good starting point.
In addition to exercising five days a week, following a healthy diet and lifestyle will help you achieve your goals in a timely manner. This includes limiting your alcohol and sugar intake, and filling your diet with whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits, and leafy vegetables. Instead of hitting the nearby McDonald’s Drive Thru three times per week, try to narrow it down to once a week. Instead of rewarding yourself with two glasses of wine each night, cut that down to one glass every other night. It’s these small tweaks to your everyday habits that will result in big changes.
The Ideal Swim Spa Exercise Routine
Like all workouts, a swim spa exercise routine should be balanced and include some stretching, cardio, and target several different muscle groups. If you’re in need of some assistance when it comes to creating your routine, simply pick one or two exercises from each of these categories:
- Half moon stretch: this pose will stretch your entire side body. Simply stand in the middle of your hot tub or swim spa and interlock your hands above your head, as if you were trying to make a pencil shape. From there, bend slowly and as far as you can to the left until you’re making a crescent moon shape. After holding one side for 30 seconds, repeat on the other side.
- Trunk twist: stand in the centre of your hot tub or swim spa and slowly rotate your entire upper body to one side and hold it. After you feel enough of a stretch, twist yourself to the other side.
- Quad stretch: this stretch can also be done standing up. Kick back your left foot and grab your heel behind you with your left hand. Kick it back far enough until you feel a stretch down the front of your leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
- Ankle rotations: stand in the centre of your hot tub or swim spa. Bend your leg up in front of you and grab it by the knee. Slowly move your ankle in circles in one direction and then switch. Once your ankle is feeling loosened up, switch to stand on the other leg.
For more stretching exercises that can be completed in your hot tub or swim spa, click here.
- Jog on the spot: this exercise is quite self-explanatory! Jog or run on the spot until you feel your heart rate creeping up.
- Scissor kicks: sit down and hold the sides of the hot tub or swim spa. From there, start kicking your legs rapidly as if you’re doing flutter kicks in the pool. This should make your calves tired in no time.
- Bicycle kicks: sit in the same position as you were in for the scissor kicks. Instead, move your legs as if you were cycling quickly.
- Swim: if your swim spa is large enough, set the jets on a higher setting and swim toward them so that they keep you in the same place, no matter how hard you’re swimming.
- Jumping jacks: these can also be done in your hot tub or swim spa but exercise caution so that you don’t lose balance and slip.
Strength and Resistance Exercises
- Lunges: these butt- and thigh-toning exercises can be done in the middle of your hot tub and swim spa. Try to do 12 on each side and then repeat three times for optimal results.
- Squats: these will also work wonders on your booty and legs. Simply squat down as if you’re trying to sit on one of the seats in your hot tub and swim spa, then pop back up. Be sure that your knees don’t extend far over your toes.
- Clapping: while it sounds almost too basic, clapping under the water in your hot tub can actually tone your chest, shoulders, biceps, and even triceps.
- Abdominal crunches: sit on one of the seats in your hot tub and face the centre. From there, tighten your abdominal muscles and hug your knees into your chest at the same time, extending them afterwards. You want to repeat this exercise around 25 to 50 times.
- Calf raises: for those yearning for nicely defined calves, this exercise is perfect for you. Stand in the centre of your hot tub or swim spa and brace yourself by holding onto the side. Slowly raise yourself up onto your tippy toes and then gently lower yourself down to standing position. Do this exercise around 36 times or until your calves start to burn slightly.
Before starting any new exercise routine, it’s wise to speak with your family physician or a medical professional to ensure that it’s safe.
Swim Spa Exercise with AJ Spa & Hot Tubs
We hope you’ve found the information in this article helpful. Our experts at AJ Spa & Hot Tubs are always here to provide professional customer service and answer any questions you may have. If you’re interested in finding a hot tub or swim spa that will support your new hot tub or swim spa exercise routine, contact our team at AJ Spa & Hot Tubs today. We will do all that we can to ensure that your exciting purchase brings you plenty of joy and satisfying water-based workouts for years to come.