For people with high blood pressure, soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a sauna to relax has always been discouraged. But there’s good news for you if you want to soothe your aching muscles.
Getting Back in the Hot Tub
The American Heart Association recently announced that people with high blood pressure who have no symptoms should tolerate saunas and hot tubs well. The relaxing of the blood vessels associated with the heat is only roughly the same as from a brisk walk.
However, if you’re experiencing any active symptoms that would cause you to avoid moderate exercise, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, you should not use a hot tub or sauna.
Anyone taking medication should also consult their physician before using a spa.
Hot Tub Tips
If your doctor okays your use of hot tubs and saunas, remember these tips.
Limit your use to no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
It’s normally recommended that you don’t use hot tubs for longer than this without getting out to cool off. You can always cool off and then re-enter if you want, but if you enjoy the heat for much longer than that, your body may feel feverish.
Never drink alcoholic beverages before or during spa use.
Alcohol can make you drowsy, and nodding off in the hot tub is extremely dangerous.
Don’t move back and forth between cold baths and saunas or hot tubs.
This can raise your blood pressure much more.