Even as a big proponent of hot tubs and their virtues, I still occasionally experience difficulty in believing that hot tubs are refreshing in warm summer weather. Slipping into a hot tub on a stifling day hardly sounds fun, right? However incredulous it may seem, it's absolutely accurate that a hot tub can be a wonderful relief. A hot tub truly is a year round product that offers the same level of enjoyment whether it is a freezing winter day dipping into the negatives or a sweltering summer heat wave nearing or cresting triple digits. The problem is that sometimes we associate the temperature of water like we do with that of the air. Think about it: stand outside in 33 degree temperatures and it is certainly cold, but it is nothing like being submerged in 33 degree water, where your life is in peril.
It all comes down to the simple fact that any water temperature below our internal body temperature (98.6 F) is going to have a cooling effect because it is absorbing heat that we are producing. Water has the unique property of absorbing an enormous amount of heat, even if the thermometer says the temperature is low. Quick science lesson: heat is a measure of molecular activity, while temperature is the intensity of that activity. We think of a lot of water we encounter like ponds, lakes, and pools as being cold, and indeed the temperature probably is cold. There is, however, a large amount of heat in that body of water because there is a lot of water molecule activity; the molecules just might not be experiencing a lot of activity and thus resulting in a lower temperature. Simply turning a tub down between a range of 80 F and a several degrees lower than your body temperature will deliver a refreshing soak (personally, I prefer between 90 and 92 F). As you sit in a hot tub with water in this temperature range swirling around you, the water is drawing heat from your body and working to cool you down. It provides a revitalizing escape, but without the bracing shock of cold water that you might find in a cooler pool or lake.
How do you enjoy the benefits of a cooler tub? Check out our tips below.
Tips & tricks for making your tub cooler. These tips make the assumption that you set the temperature on the tub to your desired number:
- Drain your tub while simultaneously filling it up with cool water from the garden hose. This is a quick fix to drop the temperature of your tub quickly in one session. It also acts to replace some of the water in your tub if you have not replaced it recently.
- Run the air jets (if your tub is equipped) with the hot tub cover open. This will help heat dissipate quicker from your tub.
- If you’re really in a pinch, you can even dump a bag of store bought ice into the tub to absorb some heat and bring the temperature down.
There are also virtues of having a warm tub in the mornings and evenings of summer. Soaking in a warmer tub in the mornings and evenings provides a refreshing environment for the senses to awaken and muscles to limber up for a day of activity; conversely, it provides a way to relax and relieve muscle tension in achy limbs and joints during the evening after an active day.
A cool, soothing jet-powered massage in the dog days of summer? You can sign us up!