Hot tubs and spas

Hot tub spas are growing in popularity. Sam Grey discovers how to find the right one and enhance family wellbeing

THE good news is that all hot tubs provide relaxation, which may explain their popularity, however there are many more ways in which hydrotherapy benefits health and well-being in the home.

Warm water jets stimulate your muscles while you relax. If you have neck or back pain, jets can be strategically placed for the best results. Joint inflammation and pain associated with arthritis or sports injuries can be eased by time spent regularly in the spa and headaches can be relieved. Arctic Spas, one of the world's leading manufacturers, is open in Hertfordshire and agrees: 'Hot tubs are great at relieving stress, aches, pains and tension. Powerful therapeutic massage has to be experienced to be believed.'

Many want to use their spa for exercise as the water buoyancy takes pressure off joints. Today hot tubs are available with larger footwells to create space to stand and water weights, workout balls and stretchbands can be bought for water exercise.

If after a hard day you require a long soak, Zen-like features are available such as the fully integrated aromatherapy system, inputting fragrance directly to the hot tub.

Hot tubs can be fantastically social. Getting friends together or distracting the family from everyday life is bonding, and time spent in a relaxed setting can improve relationships. For the romantics out there, a spa is a fantastic opportunity to unwind with a loved one and enjoy a glass of wine. If entertaining is a priority, it is a good idea to take the size and seating in the hot tub into account. Large group or families may appreciate lighting, multi-level seating, steps or grab bars to assist with the practicalities of more people.

There are a huge range of spas on offer. Before jumping in at the deep end it is advisable to plan. Talk to your family to discover what best suits the needs of your lifestyles. Where shall it be situated so that there is surrounding space to enter and exit? Who will be using the spa, when and for what? Hot tubs can add value to your property if you get it right and stay in keeping with the property, but rushing could do more harm than good.

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