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How Long Can You Stay in a Hot Tub?

May 13, 2024

Hot tubs are a great way to relax after a long day. Not only will the warm water relax your muscles but it’ll also trigger the release of endorphins, which will reduce anxiety and improve sleep. It can even help those with high blood pressure.

But how long can you stay in a hot tub safely?

The answer is, it depends. For example, a healthy adult will be able to stay inside longer compared to young children.

What determines how long you can stay inside a hot tub? What factors should you consider? Keep reading for all the answers and more!

How Long Can You Stay Inside a Hot Tub?

As a general rule, you want to keep your hot tub sessions between 15 and 60 minutes. Any longer and it can lead to dizziness, dehydration, light-headedness, and overheating.

Depending on the hot tub temperature, it can also lead to nausea, vomiting, an increased heart rate, and a decrease in blood pressure.

Factors That Will Affect the Length of Your Hot Tub Session

Water Temperature

hot tub water temperatureMost hot tubs have a water temperature between 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit. In cases like that, you can soak for up to 20 minutes at a time with no issues.

If you plan on sitting in the hot tub for longer, you’ll have to lower the temperature of the water.

Tip: Your spa or hot tub should never exceed 104 degrees as that can cause various heat-related issues such as dizziness, headaches, or nausea.

Your Age

Most healthy adults can stay in a hot tub for 20 minutes at a time with no issues. Those above the age of 65, however, should heed caution, especially if they have underlying medical conditions.

While it’s perfectly fine for teens to soak in hot tubs like adults, children below the age of 12 should stay away from the spa as their bodies aren’t capable of cooling down sufficiently through sweating.

The only exception is if the water temperature is 98 degrees or cooler.

Outdoor Temperature

The ambient temperature plays a crucial role for those with an outdoor hot tub.

For example, if the outdoor temperature is cold, your body will be able to cool itself quicker, meaning you’ll likely be able to stay in the hot tub for longer.

Your Personal Health

Pay attention to how you’re feeling in the water. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous, exit the hot tub immediately. Drink some water, if necessary.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with taking breaks in between your hot tub session. It’ll give your body a chance to rest before you use the spa again.

Proper Hot Tub Use – Things to Keep In Mind

Here are a few things to consider if you plan on using a hot tub regularly.

Be Careful If You Underlying Health Conditions

hot tub health concernsIf you have a medical condition, it’s best to speak to your doctor first before using a hot tub.

For example, those with heart disease should avoid using hot tubs as the heat can strain the heart and lower your blood pressure. Those with weakened immune systems should also stay away due to the risk of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Pregnant women should also exercise caution when using hot tubs or saunas.

Certain medications such as antihistamines or anticoagulants can also induce drowsiness, in which case, it’s best to stay away from spas altogether.

Slowly Build Up a Tolerance

Not everyone can sit in a hot tub for the same amount of time and that’s okay. If you’re new to spas in general, it’s recommended that you build your tolerance by soaking in small increments.

For example, you can soak for 15 minutes at a time and gradually increase the length of the session as you become more accustomed to the heat and jets.

Make Sure to Stay Hydrated

Make sure to drink enough water if you use a hot tub. That will keep your body hydrated, which will help prevent headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

It’s also a good idea to bring some water (or cool drink – just not alcohol) into the hot tub with you to hydrate during your spa session.

Do Not Use Alcohol Before Hot Tubbing

Do not drink alcohol before or during your spa session. It’ll cause your blood vessels to expand, which will increase your risk of overheating.

Not only that but alcohol is also dehydrating, meaning you’ll be more likely to become dehydrated and that can lead to headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting.

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Picture of John Harrington

John Harrington

John Harrington, with over 20 years of experience in pool and spa maintenance, generously shares his expertise on the ACTIVE blog. His in-depth knowledge and practical advice provide invaluable guidance for maintaining pristine pools and hot tubs. John's insights help enthusiasts and homeowners ensure their aquatic havens are always in top condition.

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