Take a Dip into These Health Benefits of Pools and Hot Tubs

Pools and hot tubs are known for being a space that the entire family can enjoy. Swimming is also a beloved activity amongst Americans of all ages and fitness levels. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that swimming is the fourth most popular sport activity in the U.S., behind walking, running and cycling.1But did you know that pool ownership can also come with some pretty incredible health benefits? Spending time in the water is both aerobic and therapeutic and can have a significant positive impact on your emotional wellbeing and your physical health.

Improve Your Mood

Your brain produces endorphins when you do any form of exercise, including swimming. These hormones interact with your brain and bring about a sense of happiness, boosting your mood with every swim.

Aerobic exercise, like swimming, also causes increased blood flow to your brain and can impact the shape of your hippocampus. This structure in the brain works with memory and regulating your emotions. By swimming regularly, your hippocampus can change shape overtime and have a positive effect on your mood.2

If you do not have time for a workout, even just taking a dip can improve your mood! A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that immersing yourself in water increases blood flow and can again alter the shape of your hippocampus.3 That’s the power of water!

Excellent Heart Health

Swimming isn’t just great for your mood; it also improves your heart health. During exercise, your heart beats faster and more often as it works to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles. Regular swimming can help the organ grow stronger over time and has been known to improve high blood pressure. Reducing your blood pressure can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and can improve your cardiovascular health overall.4

Swimming also lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can build up on the walls of your blood vessels if levels are too high. This can lead to health problems such as heart attack or stroke.5 Swimming increases your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which absorbs the LDL cholesterol in the blood. HDL then takes the cholesterol to the liver where the organ flushes it from your body. Elevated HDL levels can lower your risk for a cardiac event.5  

Easy on the Joints

Your joints also greatly benefit from time in the pool! The buoyancy of water takes stress off your joints as it helps to support your body weight. This extra support can reduce joint discomfort and pain, helping you to move them through their normal range of motion.6

Just moving around in your pool can also help your joint health. As you use your pool, your body begins circulating blood. Improved circulation can reduce joint swelling and improve muscle tension, helping you to be more mobile and enjoy your pool and spa.7

Your pool or spa is a fantastic way to have fun and relax, while also boosting your mood and safeguarding your health. Read up on tips throughout the Let’s Pool Together Website to ensure your pool is water-wise this summer and make the most of its mind and body benefits!


1 U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012. Arts, Recreation, and Travel: Participation in Selected Sports Activities 2009. [XLS – 40 KB]

2 Lin, J. Y., Kuo, W. W., Baskaran, R., Kuo, C. H., Chen, Y. A., Chen, W. S., Ho, T. J., Day, C. H., Mahalakshmi, B., & Huang, C. Y. (2020). Swimming exercise stimulates IGF1/ PI3K/Akt and AMPK/SIRT1/PGC1α survival signaling to suppress apoptosis and inflammation in aging hippocampus. Aging12(8), 6852–6864. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103046

3 Carter, H. H., Spence, A. L., Pugh, C. J., Ainslie, P., Naylor, L. H., & Green, D. J. (2014). Cardiovascular responses to water immersion in humans: impact on cerebral perfusion. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology306(9), R636–R640. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00516.2013

4 Wong, A., Kwak, Y.-S., Scott, S. D., Pekas, E. J., Son, W.-M., Kim, J.-S., & Park, S.-Y. (2018). The effects of swimming training on arterial function, muscular strength, and cardiorespiratory capacity in postmenopausal women with stage 2 hypertension. Menopause, 26(6), 653–658. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0000000000001288

5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, October 24). LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm#:~:text=When%20your%20body%20has%20too,as%20heart%20disease%20and%20stroke.

6 Song, J.-A., & Oh, J. W. (2022). Effects of aquatic exercises for patients with osteoarthritis: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Healthcare, 10(3), 560. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10030560

7 Swimming for joint pain relief. Premier Outpatient Surgery Center. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://premierosc.com/news/swimming-for-joint-pain-relief#:~:text=Just%20moving%20your%20body%20in,increasing%20your%20range%20of%20motion.