Fall is in the air around the country and soon the snow will be upon us! Cold weather is bringing in those summer swimmers to do their training inside to "share a lane" at the neighborhood swimming pool and that means it is about to get "cozy" with you and the few others you now will be swimming with. Not only will you need to share a lane but you may also need to speed up your pace or slow it waaay down so you're not bumping into each other.
Having a comfortable, luxurious bathroom is a goal many homeowners have. Remodeling a guest or master bathroom is a chance to create a space that is unique to your style and needs. A popular design theme that many find peaceful is that reflecting a Japanese style. A key feature to Japanese bathroom design and style is the bathtub. Japanese soaking tubs are unique in that they are small and deep, and typically include a seat to allow the bather to relax in a seated position.
The soothing sounds and visually appealing aesthetic that comes from custom water features can bring a sense of calm and lend a peaceful air to any environment. Becoming more of a design element in construction, home decorating, and landscaping, water features, like tabletop fountains and wall waterfall fountains are increasingly being found in homes, offices, gardens, and courtyards.
Topics: custom water feature
When building your dream home or remodeling the bathroom area of your current home to reflect the ultimate in custom design, the question arises as to what kind of tub is best, a built-in or freestanding tub? Elegant freestanding baths are becoming increasingly popular at luxury resorts, spas, and upscale homes around the globe. Many believe these standout baths provide a level of indulgence unmatched by other forms of bathing.
Topics: elliptical baths
Do you love spending time relaxing in a tub full of warm, soothing water, but have a bathroom that isn’t large enough to accommodate a large bathtub? Don’t let your small bathroom hold you back from having an exceptional bathing experience. Japanese soaking tubs are a great answer to the question of what to do with a small bathroom space. These bathtubs are a space saving solution that offers you the opportunity to soak away your stress without taking up a large area of your available bathroom real estate. Japanese soaking tubs are small bathtubs that can help maximize the available space in your bathroom, and still provide you with a relaxing, rejuvenating experience.
Topics: Japanese tubs
Topics: Chosing a spa
One of the benefits of a cold plunge pool is reduced soreness and recovery time following a workout. If you have a hot tub, steam room, or dry sauna at home or place of business, you may want to consider adding a cold plunge pool, also. Alternating between immersion in hot and cold water is called “contrast hydrotherapy” and is also known as hot/cold immersion therapy. This is a form of treatment where either an injured or sore limb, or the entire body, is immersed in ice water followed by immediate immersion in warm water. This procedure is repeated several times, alternating between hot and cold water. Both amateur and professional athletes use this treatment method to stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
Topics: Cold Plunge Pools
At Loughborough University we investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control (an important measure of metabolic fitness) and on energy expended (number of calories burned). We recruited 14 men to take part in the study. They were assigned to an hour-long soak in a hot soaking tub (40 degrees Celsius) or an hour of cycling. The activities were designed to cause a 1 degrees Celsius rise in core body temperature over the course of one hour.
Cycling resulted in more calories being burned compared with a hot bath, but bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories). The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.
We also showed changes to the inflammatory response similar to that following exercise. The anti-inflammatory response to exercise is important as it helps to protect us against infection and illness, but chronic inflammation is associated with a reduced ability to fight off diseases. This suggests that repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, that is often present with long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
Exciting new field of research
Passive heating for human health is a relatively new field of research, but some exciting results have emerged over the past few years.
Research from Finland, published in 2015, suggested that frequent saunas can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke—at least in men. The idea that passive heating can improve cardiovascular function received further support when the University of Oregon published a study the following year showing that regular hot baths can lower blood pressure.
In a second study, the same group looked at the mechanism responsible for these improvements. They found that passive heating raised levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. This has implications for treating high blood pressure and improving peripheral circulation in people with type 2 diabetes. As type 2 diabetes is associated with reductions in nitric oxide availability, passive heating may help re-establish a healthier nitric oxide level and reduce blood pressure.
In order to establish the effect of increasing body temperature passively, as opposed to through exertion, another study matched the intensity of heating from water immersion to that of running on a treadmill. Water immersion resulted in a greater increase in body temperature compared with exercise, as well as a greater reduction in average arterial blood pressure. This is important as a reduction in blood pressure is closely associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. This study points to the promising effect that may result from passive heating. It also suggests some of the cardiovascular effects of passive heating may be comparable with those of exercise.
As well as the cardiovascular effects of passive heating, there is evidence to suggest that there may be beneficial metabolic effects as well – such as better control of blood sugar. The fisrt study, conducted by Philip Hooper of McKee Medical Center, Colorado, in 1999, investigated the effect of three weeks of hot-tub therapy in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The results showed improvements in body weight, blood sugar control and a reduced dependence on insulin.
Hooper thought these effects may result from changes to blood flow as a result of passive heating, but he was unable to identify a specific mechanism by which their intervention led to these benefits.
Since this early investigation, few studies have investigated the potential for passive heating to improve blood sugar control in humans. With our study, we have tried to reignite interest in the health benefits that may be linked to passive heating.
Heat shock proteins
Studies using animals may have identified how heating affects health. These studies suggest one of the key regulators of blood sugar control may beheat shock proteins.
Heat shock proteins are molecules that are made by all cells of the human body in response to stresses. Their levels rise following exercise and passive heating. In the long term, raised levels of these proteins may help the function of insulin and improve blood sugar control. (Conversely, heat shock proteins have been shown to be lower in people with diabetes.)
It seems that activities that increase heat shock proteins may help to improve blood sugar control and offer an alternative to exercise. These activities—such as soaking in a tub or taking a sauna—may have health benefits for people who are unable to exercise regularly. Hopefully our future investigations, coupled with those of other groups worldwide, will help to establish the true potential of passive heating as a therapeutic tool.
Topics: Custom Designed Bath Tubs
If you have a beautiful natural copper tub or sink in your home or place of business, you need to know how to properly care for it, to ensure many years of use and enjoyment. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to care for your copper sink or tub.
Topics: copper tubs