Top 12 Swim Spa Health Benefits in 2023

Posted by Alex Clamp in Buying a swim spa on 22nd August 2023

A swim spa is your own personal swimming pool and hot tub all packaged into one unit.

Swim spas are the perfect place to get in your daily low-impact exercise, as well as unwind and recover after a long day at the office.

It probably comes as no surprise that there are a whole host of lifestyle and health benefits associated with making swimming and soaking in a home spa a regular part of your routine, so let us open your eyes to all the benefits and possibilities!

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Swim Spa Health Benefits Explained:

Photo © Summit Leisure

Relieves Stress

Studies have shown that hydrotherapy can give you a psychological and emotional boost, making a relaxing soak in your back garden swim spa a powerful antidote to a stressful day.

Reduces Aches and Pains (Improved Pain Relief)

Not do swim spas relieve stress, but studies also show that hydrotherapy treatment soothes the symptoms of people living with chronic back pain – which 34% of Brits do. That makes a daily dip in a hot tub an effective – and enjoyable – way to manage a bad back.

A Better Night’s Sleep

An evening soak in your spa can help you sleep soundly as well. A study of insomniacs revealed that soaking in hot water before bedtime leads to deeper, more restful, and more continuous sleep.

swim spa benefits

Weight Loss

Did you know soaking in a hot tub for an hour burns around the same number of calories as a 30-minute walk?

So, slip into the hot tub section of your swim spa after a short swim to burn even more calories.

Muscle Relaxation and Recovery

Studies have shown that hydro and aquatic therapy boosts recovery rates after exercise and reduces fatigue. Swap straight into the hot tub after a swim to speed up your recovery time and reduce muscle tension.

Manage Diabetes and Heart Disease

Studies show that soaking in a hot tub has an effect on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure that’s “comparable to those of exercise training”.

And a follow-up study revealed that regular spa use is “a promising and inexpensive tool for the treatment of obesity and diabetes”.

This makes following a gentle swim with a hot tub session a great way to help manage conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

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Minimise the Pain of Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

A study of the effects of hydrotherapy on people with severe arthritis found that it reduced pain more effectively than drug therapy.

Studies on the effect of hydrotherapy on people with arthritis have shown that it can reduce pain, tension, and joint tenderness – in some cases more effectively than drug therapy.

And studies have also shown hydrotherapy improves physical functionality, sleep quality, and the ability to do their jobs for people with Fibromyalgia while also reducing pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness, anxiety, and depression.

While soaking in a hot tub won’t cure arthritis or Fibromyalgia, it’s a proven way to get temporary relief from the chronic pain those conditions cause.

Underwater treadmill walking (a popular swim spa exercise) has also been found to lower levels of pain in adults with osteoarthritis, while still expending the same amount of energy as walking on a land-based treadmill.

This suggests that underwater treadmill exercise can act as a fantastic option for individuals with osteoarthritis looking to reduce pain while maintaining their mobility.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Using a home spa for as little as ten minutes a day can lower your blood pressure, meaning that every time you hop in the hot tub section of your swim spa you’re getting a cardiovascular boost.

Improved Flexibility & Mobility

Low-impact exercises such as swimming and rowing within your swim spa can be massively influential in helping to improve our flexibility and mobility.

Swimming and rowing both involve a wide range of full-body motion that can help to stretch and strengthen muscles throughout the body, particularly in the arms, shoulders, and back.

health benefits of a swim spa

In terms of research, a 2006 study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that aquatic exercise can significantly improve flexibility and range of motion in older adults suffering from osteoarthritis in the hip and knee.

Another research study investigating the effects of aquatic exercise on the physical fitness of children with disabilities found significant improvements in flexibility following a 16-week aquatic exercise program (two 60-minute sessions per week).

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Improved Muscle Strength

When you’re submerged in water up to your chest, it can take twice as much effort to move than when you’re on dry land.

This means that even gentle exercises become effective muscle-strengthening workouts and are a great way of improving your physical strength without worrying about putting too much strain on your body.

swim spa health benefits

Underwater rowing involves being suspended in the water while using your upper body and core to draw the oars using a pulling motion towards you.

A 2021 study showed that suspended rowing engaged and strengthened the upper body muscles, such as the trapezius, deltoid, latissimus dorsi, biceps, and forearm muscles, as well as core muscles including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back that are engaged through stabilising the body and transferring force from the legs to the upper body.

Injury Prevention

Swim spas provide buoyancy which helps to move your joints and muscles without causing strain, reducing the risk of physical injury compared to land exercises.

This makes it perfect for gentle strengthening activities like current swimming and underwater rowing, which can increase strength without putting excessive pressure on your body.

A 2021 study demonstrated this by showing that suspended rowing strengthened shoulder blade stabilisers such as the rhomboids and serratus anterior, in turn helping to ensure proper shoulder mechanics and helping to prevent injuries.

Improved Blood Circulation

Being submerged in a hot tub causes small blood vessels to dilate, improving circulation and helping to flush toxins from your system.

Plus, the heat speeds up your heart rate, meaning that more oxygen is sent around your body that helps to provide nourishment to entire cells and tissues.

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The Benefits of Swimming

health benefits of a swim spa
Photo © Vita Spa

No matter what your age, weight and physical ability, swimming is an effective, low-impact workout.

Most swim spas are often much more compact when compared to the average swimming pool, but offer all the same benefits that swimming pools do within the privacy and convenience of your own home.

When you have a swim spa, you can skip battling through traffic to get to the local public swimming pool, the hassle of using public changing rooms, and the inconvenience of using a communal shower.

Instead, swim spa owners can step straight out of their back door into their own private swimming area.

Owning a swim spa is also fantastic for your children, with many swim spa owners today choosing to give their children swimming lessons from the controlled environment of their spa for health and safety reasons.

Owning a swim spa helps you to swim on a much more regular basis and enjoy all of its many health benefits, including:

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It’s One of the Most Effective Forms of Exercise

Swimming is one of the best cardio exercises there is.

It provides a full-body workout that’s guaranteed to get your heart rate up, helping to boost your cardiovascular health and keep you fit and healthy.

The buoyancy of the water means that your body weighs 90 per cent less than it does on land, meaning there’s far less impact on your joints when you swim than when you walk or jog.

Swimming also burns more calories than almost any other form of cardio, too.

For example, a 13-stone person burns approximately 288 calories while swimming laps at a casual pace for half an hour. The same person would burn just 136 if they spent that time walking at a moderate pace and 103 doing yoga, giving breaststroke a huge bang for its buck when it comes to gentle exercise.

Plus, studies show you can also exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or joint or muscle pain.

This means swimming is not only easier on your joints and burns more calories than most forms of cardio, but you can quite comfortably do it for far longer as well.

It’s One of the Nation’s Favourite Exercises

Studies show that people enjoy water-based workouts more than exercising on land.

And 4.7 million Brits swim twice or more a month according to Sport England, making it one of the UK’s most popular physical activities.

Plus, swimming is the most popular sport among 5 to 10-year-olds in England by far.

Simply put: people of all ages love to swim. And a swim spa lets your whole family enjoy the sport whenever they want without any hassle.

It Can Boost Your Mental Health

Swimming doesn’t just have physical benefits, either. Studies show it improves your mood and reduces stress.

So, if you’re ever overwhelmed, a quick workout in your swim spa is a great way to destress.

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It’s a Great Way to Spend More Time with Friends and Family

swimming health benefits
Photo © Riptide Pools

We’re hypersocial animals. In fact, a metastudy by Harvard Medical School revealed that people with strong social ties are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

And between the swimming area and the hot tub, a swim spa is a great way to bring the whole family together for a splash, a soak, and some quality social time.

It Lowers Your Risk of a Whole Host of Diseases

Regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, according to the NHS.

Amazingly, research shows swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people, meaning a daily dip in your swim spa might just be the best thing you can do for your health.

It’s Perfect for People With Preexisting Health Conditions

Because it’s so low-impact, swimming is a great exercise for people with a wide range of preexisting health conditions:

  • It can help manage blood sugar levels in type 2 and gestational diabetes and increase insulin sensitivity, according to
  • Studies show exercise aquatic therapy in warm water can decrease anxiety and depression and improve the mood of people with fibromyalgia.
  • One study showed that people with osteoarthritis experience less joint pain and physical limitation after swimming.
  • A 20-week swimming programme significantly reduced pain, fatigue, and depression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Instant access to a place to enjoy water-based exercise in the form of a swim spa can literally be life-changing for someone with one of these conditions.

It’s a Great Exercise During Your Golden Years

Since it’s so low-impact, swimming is an excellent exercise to do long into your old age.

Studies show water-based exercise improves the overall quality of life of older adults and decreases disability. It also improves or maintains the bone health of post-menopausal women, according to research.

This makes a swim spa a great investment if you’re looking to keep fit into your golden years.

It’s Safe During Pregnancy

Research suggests that water-based exercise is the safest way women can stay active when they’re pregnant.

Studies not only show that swimming in chlorinated pools is completely fine while pregnant, but that women who swam during their early to mid-pregnancy had a lower risk of preterm labour and congenital defects.

Plus, water-based exercise can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children as well as have a positive effect on the mother’s mental health, according to research.

If you’re expecting a pregnancy in the family, investing in a swim spa will mean the pregnant woman won’t have to go through the hassle of going to a public pool to enjoy all these benefits.

It Slows the Ageing Process

Amazingly, swimming has even been shown to significantly slow the ageing process.

According to Dr Joel Stager, a researcher at the University of Indiana: “Exercising in water slows down the ageing process, and often quite dramatically – by upwards of 20 per cent in some cases. You almost cannot overstate the benefits of exercising in water.”

This means your swim spa could be your own private fountain of youth.

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The Final Word

Swimming is one of the best cardio exercises you can do, and hopping in a swim spa comes with a whole host of unexpected health benefits.

And on top of that, they’re both such pleasurable pastimes that you can reap their health benefits as a byproduct of doing something relaxing, fun, and often in the company of your nearest and dearest.

Get your free copy of WhatSwimSpa? magazine for help picking the perfect swim spa for you and your family to start enjoying the boost both its functions will bring to your health and wellbeing.

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About the author

Alex Clamp

I am the Content Writer and Marketing Officer at WhatSwimSpa? Magazine. I recently graduated with Distinction from Northumbria University with a Master's degree in Occupational and Organizational Psychology. My role at WhatSwimSpa? is to ensure that all swim spa and hot tub lovers can easily access the highest quality and most up-to-date content, news and information from within the UK wet leisure industry. In my spare time, I love to produce music and DJ across the country, possessing a significant passion for all underground dance and electronic music genres.

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