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Winter Fun in the Tub

7 tips for getting the most out of your hot tub

By Marti Jentz
Published: December 1, 2005
webCP-hottub-Envoy-Blue
Photo by Hot Spring Spas, www.hotspring.com
Do short, chilly days and long dark nights give you the blahs? Turn those blahs into “aaaahs!” by sinking neck deep into the bubbly warmth of a hot tub.
   
Imagine enjoying a peaceful, snow-covered landscape while relaxing in your hot-water haven, wisps of steam curling into the air. And the best part? Most of us don’t feel chilly upon exiting because of
increased skin temperature.  
   
But let’s face it: Winter is winter. To maximize the enjoyment of your hot tub during cold weather months, you’ll need to protect yourself from the harsher aspects of Mother Nature. Here are seven tips:
   
1. Create a break from the wind. For winter hot-tubbing, scout out a location that is shielded from wind. A spot adjacent to the cabin may be enough for hardy souls. Consider evergreen hedges, deck overhangs or fencing for additional protection.
   
2. Avoid involuntary ice dancing. Keep your access clear of ice and snow to prevent graceless (and body damaging) wipeouts.
   
3. Stay in the water. Install a spa caddy to hold beverages, snacks, playing cards, cell phone – all within easy reach so you can stay in the water where it’s warm.
   
4. Keep cover-ups close. Make sure towels, robes and footwear are within an easy arm’s reach. Shelves and towel racks can be purchased as spa accessories.
   
5. Make your wrap toasty warm. For the ultimate luxury, wrap yourself in an already toasty robe. Warming compartments built into the spa, as well as stand-alone units, are available for heating après spa clothing.
   
6. Ch-ch-cha-changing. If possible, situate your spa near access to an indoor changing area. This will speed hot water entries and exits.
   
7. Build a gazebo. Spa gazebos are appreciated by thin-blooded people desiring extra protection from the elements, modest hot-tubbers looking for privacy or those simply desiring to dress up their spa. A wide variety of styles and prices are available. Cedar sided, cottage style, Victorian – chances are one exists that will blend with your cabin’s architecture. A low-cost alternative to a gazebo is a spa umbrella, and it may be just enough to protect you from nuisance weather like ice-cold rain or sleet.
   
With a little effort, all the fun and relaxation can be yours when you need it the most: winter. So go ahead, sink into your hot tub’s wonderful warmth and say “aaaah!”

Freelance writer Marti Jentz loves a good soak in her winter hot tub, but prefers to leave rolling in the snow to her husband. 

 


Top 3 reasons to have a hot tub

A place to relax. Stress doesn’t take a winter vacation, so why should your hot tub? Put it to work relieving your worries, cares and the knots in your shoulders.
   
Party time. Jolt friends and family out of post-holiday hermit mode with a winter hot tub party at your cabin. Invite neighbors over for a lively game of hot tub poker or checkers. (Spa accessory stores sell waterproof versions.) Treat guests to an evening of supreme relaxation after a day on the snowmobile trails. Guests will take great pleasure in the contrast of crisp air and hot water, not to mention warm toes. As an added bonus, serve a favorite beverage spa-side, where, for those enjoying sub-freezing temps, it will turn into a delicious slushy.
   
A workout tub. A hot tub will help you keep those New Year’s resolutions too. A soak accompanied by massaging jets will ease aching muscles after a day of hiking, skiing or snowshoeing.
   
Not a winter athlete? Try an in-tub workout. Hydrotherapy equipment such as webbed gloves, exercise bands and other resistance training devices are available. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
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