|Rick and Nick's Adventure in the World of Hot Tubs
Nick and I have been looking for a hot tub, or as they call itSPAfor nearly a year. You don't know how many brands, sizes, makes, options, and color combos these things come in. And yes, it has taken us nearly a year to make a decision. We've got it down to two manufacturers. And to say this isn't a big investment wouldn't hold water (get ithot tub?). These things run from $1800 to $20,000. We've been to every home and garden show in the area, every show room and tent sale that was advertised in the newspaper.
And so you ask, why do Ricky and Nicky want a hot tub? Does it help that we are both Aquarians? We both love water. It can be so pure and simple, and it can do extraordinary things. We would use it to unwind from the stress of daily life and also to rejuvenate sore muscles and joints caused by our professions. With Nick being a power lifter and me a body builder we both appreciate the benefits of a hydro-massage.
There are three factors at work in a spa: heat, buoyancy and massage. Together they create a relaxing, soothing experience. Nick truly appreciates this, for as a massage therapist and rolfer, the heated water and hydro-massage works wonders on his tired hands and arms after a long day of work.
Did you know that immersion in hot water raises the body temperature and causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing circulation? The buoyancy of the water reduces body weight by approximately 90%, which relieves pressure on joints and muscles, and creates the relaxing sensation of weightlessness.
The massaging action of a spa is created by sending a mixture of warm water and air through jet nozzles. This "energized" stream of water loosens tight muscles. It also stimulates the release of endorphin (that natural high we get), the body's natural pain killer.
Having trouble falling asleep? Insomnia can often be traced to our hectic, stressful lifestyles.
Sleep researchers have found that soaking in warm water before bedtime helps lower the body's internal thermostat and enables sleep to set in with more ease. Our friend Mike once told us how he stepped into his hot tub late one winter night to help him "chill out." Well, he fell asleep in the tub and woke up with an inch of snow on his head.
The Arthritis Foundation recognizes the benefits of hydro-massage on sore muscles, stiff joints and circulation. Many people who suffer with arthritis start or end their day soaking in a hot tub.
But then again, a spa offers a lot more than a good hydro-massage. It's a private retreat for you and yours that leaves you mentally and emotionally refreshed. Fifteen minutes in the morning can wake and revive you. And as I said before, a soak just before bed can make it easier to drift into a deep, restful sleep.
A hot tub can also be a great item to have when family, friends, or acquaintances stop by. We've been to several hot tub partiesget your mind out of the gutterthey weren't those kind of parties!
And so these things have every kind of gadget and gee-gaws known to hot-tubbers. They've got flat screen TVs built into them, total stereo sound systems, lighting, LED systems, and water features such as fountains and falls. I told you that we looked at spas with asking prices of $20,000. Hey, you could buy a nice new car for that kind of price! But many want the ultimate spa, so they load them up. Nick and I would prefer to have ours without all the bells and whistles. We prefer the soothing, relaxing quiet of the great outdoors with nature as our sound system.
We were told that the options could increase the cost by an extra 25% but some may be worth it in the long run. I can remember the in-ground pool I had in Riviera Beach, Maryland. It was a 20' x 40' in-ground pool, that was installed 20 years prior to our buying the house. It was fun the first two years of ownership, but became a headache to take care of once the newness had worn off. The last two years of living there found us not even taking off the pool cover. We were spending that precious weekend time at the beach house we built here in Delaware. My love for in-ground pools soured after that. So, I wanted to avoid that same scenario with the hot tub. Nicky assured me that it was way smaller, easier to maintain and clean, and that running it wouldn't cost us more than $15 a month. And what with today's hot-tub technologies it only takes the press of a couple of buttons to enjoy your spa. OK, OK, I'm convinced. As long as Nick and I split the maintenance right down the middle, then, I guess, bring it on. The hard part for us will now be what color, finish, and texture we want on the interior and exterior. The real problem will probably be where to place the new hot tub. Do we put it inside, outside, out front, the back, or side yard? We will keep you all informed.
In the meantime, since the weather has finally broken, I can safely say "see you at the beach!"
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Visit him at www.ricksfitness.net.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 3 April 8, 2005