Jacuzzi Blog

Essential Accessories for Your Hot Tub

Your spa is going to provide years of enjoyment and potential health benefits, but why not accessorize it and make it more your own? Whether you want to make your hot tub more easily accessible or are looking to craft a more enjoyable experience for you and your guests, the Jacuzzi® Parts Store has something for you. These accessories will add a great deal to your hot tub and the area you set it in.

Steps

Getting in and out of your hot tub shouldn’t be a physical workout. If you’ve had a little trouble climbing into your spa, a set of steps will make getting in and out easier. The steps come in a variety of colors to match your existing décor, and most can be assembled in a minimal amount of time by one person.

Cover Lifter/Mount

One of the best things you can do for your spa is cover it. The cover keeps the heat in as well as prevents debris, insects, and the like from falling into the hot tub. But covers can be heavy and difficult to move; make the process easier on yourself with a cover lifter or mount. Once this equipment is installed, you’ll be able to remove your spa’s cover easily.

Spa All Purpose Cleaner

There’s no getting around it: Your hot tub will accumulate some grime as time goes on. Make a quick cleaning part of your periodic maintenance session. Just spray this cleaner onto the exterior and wipe away stains and buildup with a cloth. You can also use this on the interior of your hot tub when the water is drained.

Cover Cleaner

You keep your spa sparkling clean, so give your cover the same treatment. Spray this onto your cover every five or six weeks and buff it in with a paper towel – be careful not to get it on your hands, as it may irritate your skin. The cleaner will keep your spa cover looking as lustrous and clean as your spa itself, and will also protect against UV ray-induced fading.

Towel Warmer

There’s nothing quite like soaking in your hot tub to ward off the chill of a winter night. But what happens when you step out of your spa and into the evening air? Place your towels into a towel warmer before getting into your spa; when you climb out, you’ll have a toasty towel to wrap yourself in.

Your hot tub is not a static item, sitting unchangeable in your backyard. It’s part of your home, so outfit it according to your own needs and tastes as they change. Proper care will ensure its longevity.

How to Prep Your Hot Tub for Winter

Your hot tub is an outstanding addition to your home and family, and proper maintenance will ensure you get to enjoy it for years to come. This maintenance includes making the necessary adjustments to keep your spa operating through the cold winter months or, alternatively, shutting it down during the cold months. We’ll discuss both possibilities below.

Closing Down for Winter

Hot tub owners often report that they most enjoy using their spas during the winter. However, if your area is bracing for severe inclement weather or you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, you may wish to shut down your spa entirely.

  1. Power Down

You’ll be emptying your spa of water and performing additional maintenance

on it, so shut off the heater and turn off the spa.

  1. Empty the Spa

Drain your hot tub of all water. Empty the air blowers, if your spa is

equipped with these.

  1. Clean Filters

Remove your filters and place them in a cleaning solution. You’ll want to keep them in a dry place for as long as they’re out of the hot tub. Take this opportunity to clean the filter basket, as well.

  1. Loosen Fittings

If your pump housing has drain plugs, open them. You may wish to rent or purchase a shop vac to remove additional water left inside these fittings.

  1. Blow Jets

Water can get trapped in your jet plumbing and damage your hot tub if it freezes. Make sure this is drained, whether manually or by a shop vac.

  1. Clean the Shell

Your hot tub is empty, so give the entire basin a good scrubbing with a spa cleanser.

  1. Cover Your Tub

Place your cover over your hot tub and lock it down. It will protect your spa during the winter.

When spring arrives, you can refill your hot tub and begin enjoying it again.

Operating Your Spa in Winter

If you are concerned about the cost of operating your spa and its heater in the winter, you can relax; if properly maintained, keeping your hot tub operating is surprisingly cost-efficient. Here are a few simple steps you can follow to prepare your hot tub for winter.

  1. Drain/Clean Tub

You’ll still want to give your spa a cleaning session. Drain your hot tub and give it a thorough scrubbing, including the vents and filters.

  1. Refill Your Spa

Fill your hot tub with water.

  1. Activate Freeze Protection

If you live in a very cold climate, run your hot tub in F3 “Standard” mode. A sensor will monitor the climate and periodically run the pump when the temperature drops below a certain level, preventing anything from freezing.

    1. Keep Your Spa Covered

If you aren’t using your hot tub, keep the cover firmly on it. This will keep the heat in, preventing you from running the heater continuously and saving you money in the long run.

There’s nothing quite like watching snow drift down from the comfort of your spa. Why not keep it operating in the winter and enjoy it?

Now that you know how to maintain your spa through the winter or how to properly shut it down, you’ll be able to properly manage its care. As long as you look after it, your hot tub will function optimally.

Simple Exercises You Can Do in the Hot Tub

Your hot tub isn’t just a place for you to soak and relax. You can engage in a number of simple exercises while you’re sitting or standing in your spa. We’ve compiled a few that we think you’ll find comfortable and enjoyable:

Head Circles

Sit down in your hot tub. Rotate your head from shoulder to shoulder very gently, tilting your head forward, right, back, and left before returning to your starting position. Repeat three times.

Leg Lifter

While sitting in the hot tub, place your hands on the seat beside your hips for balance and lift your legs until they are directly in front of you. Hold for three seconds, lower them, and breathe. Repeat up to five times, gradually extending the length of time you hold your legs up.

Toe Points

Sit down in the hot tub and take several deep breaths. Raise your legs until they are directly in front of you, as you did in the Leg Lifter. Point your toes, hold for three counts, and relax. Complete up to five reps.

Blowfish

Take a deep breath and puff your cheeks out. Hold for five seconds, then let it out slowly. Relax for five breaths, then repeat. You can do this up to five times.

Ab Cruncher

Sit or stand in your hot tub. Pull in your stomach muscles so they are tight and hold for three seconds. Release. Take a breath. You can repeat this five times.

The Shrug

Sit or stand in your hot tub; alternatively, sink into the water up to your chin. Lift your shoulders in a shrug as high as they can go, hold for three breaths, and lower them. Repeat this three times.

These are just a few of the stretches and gentle exercises you can perform in your spa. Give yourself plenty of time to recover between each stretch, and make sure you check with your doctor before attempting a new exercise routine.

FAQs About Fibromyalgia

Many people consider purchasing a hot tub to help ease symptoms from medical conditions. One condition frequently asked about by potential spa owners is fibromyalgia, a syndrome affecting the nervous system. According to The Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia most often includes “widespread musculoskeletal pain,” as well as fatigue and mood changes. While warm water has proven to have positive health benefits, raising one’s body temperature can potentially be detrimental to certain constitutions and only a doctor can recommend treatment for fibromyalgia. As you’re consulting your physician, we’ve provided a few frequently asked questions to help inform you about fibromyalgia:

Who is Affected by Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can suffer from fibromyalgia, though WebMD notes that women are more likely to develop the syndrome than men. It also seems more likely to strike those with anxiety and irritable bowel disorder, among others.

What are Some Symptoms?

Chronic pain in the muscles, muscle spasms, and general tenderness are among the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. WebMD also indicates tension headaches, memory problems, and general abdominal issues are possible symptoms of this disorder.

Why Does Fibromyalgia Occur?

There is no hard and fast reason why fibromyalgia appears in some people but not others. There is some evidence that a family history is partially to blame; if you have a relative with fibromyalgia, you may be more likely to develop it. You may also be more susceptible to the syndrome if you have rheumatic arthritis or lupus.

What are Some Treatments?

Your doctor will prescribe the course of treatment best for you, but in general, you will be looking at OTC treatments, prescription drugs, and lifestyle changes. Regular over-the-counter painkillers may take the edge off muscle pain, while antidepressants have been shown to provide additional comfort.

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Pursue?

The Mayo Clinic recommends reducing stress, making sure you sleep enough, and getting some exercise. You may also look into hydrotherapy, or using water to treat sickness or discomfort. Besides helping you relax, sitting in a hot spa may help increase circulation, and exercising in water is easier on painful joints. Again, be sure to determine if an increased body temperature will have any adverse effects on your condition before soaking in the tub.

If you have fibromyalgia, consult with your doctor to pursue the best course of treatment for you.

3 Entertaining Games to Play in Your Hot Tub

You already know how relaxing your spa is, but you might not realize just how much enjoyable it can be too. Unlike pools, most people don’t associate hot tubs with games even though there are quite a few you can play. Here are three games to try out with your friends and family this weekend:

Musical Jets

Musical jets is just like musical chairs with the added twist of involving your hot tub. Start by shutting down a portion of the jets in your spa. Have someone play a song (for example via the Bluetooth enabled Jacuzzi® Hot Tub) while everyone in the spa moves around in a clockwise motion. Just like musical chairs, when that person stops the music, everyone has to stop where they’re at. Unlike musical chairs however, where you’re scattering to find a chair, in musical jets you’re trying to sit down in front of a jet. If there isn’t a jet blowing up against you when you freeze, you’re out and have to leave the hot tub while everyone else finishes the game.

The Mine Game

Turn off the jets in your hot tub and drop in five to 10 ping pong balls, rubber ducks, or some other type of small, floating toys. The objective of the game is not to touch the floating objects; you can scramble out of the way as much as you can, but your feet must remain in the tub.

If you come into contact with an object, you have to leave the tub and place two more objects inside. After a few minutes, whoever has survived the onslaught of small toys is the victor.

Hot Tub Hockey

Using a ping pong ball or something else that floats, hot tub hockey involves trying to move this object to your opponent’s side of the spa without using your hands. Start off by placing the ping pong ball in the middle of the tub, between you (your team) and your opponent. Each time your team manages to move the ball to the opposing team’s wall, you earn a point. Splashing is allowed and can be a great way to heat up the competition! The team that scores three points first is the winner.

Most Popular Backyard Additions to Complement Your Hot Tub

As a hot tub owner, your backyard is probably already your go-to relaxation spot. But what if you want to take it further than just soaking in your spa? Here are four outdoor additions to complement your hot tub and backyard:

Add More Water
Create your own oasis by installing a waterfall. Used in places known for serenity, like massage therapy rooms, the sound of a waterfall is synonymous with relaxation. Ponds, which can include waterfalls, koi fish, or other additions, can also make your backyard more attractive and inviting.

Incorporate Fire

Similar to a bonfire on the beach, a fire pit can give your backyard a sense of nostalgia that can be very soothing after a long day. Whether you build a permanent outdoor fireplace or purchase a portable version, make sure to check your local ordinances before you invest as some cities limit the size and use of fire pits. Tiki torches are also a nice way to give your backyard that resort feel, as well as helping keep the bugs away.

Create a Yoga or Relaxation Area
Similar to the way your hot tub provides a variety of hydrotherapy benefits for your entire back, yoga is a great way to relax and relieve your spine of the compression it endures each day. Create a dedicated outdoor space for yoga, meditation, and other relaxation methods to give you and your family members a place to unwind each day.

Build an Outdoor Bar
Whether you’re enjoying a glass of wine with your partner or entertaining friends, an outdoor bar can make your backyard a more welcoming environment. Rather than disrupting conversation to trek back and forth from the kitchen, this outdoor addition provides that added convenience of having a fully stocked bar and glassware on hand, making entertaining more enjoyable and less stressful.

Dispelling 3 Common Myths about Hot Tubs

Debunking some of the common myths associated with hot tubs can help you choose the right spa and keep it well-maintained for a long time. Here are three common misconceptions all prospective and current hot tub owners should know about.

Purchasing myths
Myth:
A higher number of jets and horsepower equates to a higher quality spa.

Truth:
 Whether it pertains to jets or horsepower, more doesn’t always equal better. Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with varying numbers of jets. The real quality and ultimate hydromassage benefit is gained by the placement, type, and size of the jets. More jets don’t always equate to more comfort, but it almost always means higher operating costs. Furthermore, if the pump size remains the same and is forced to push air/water at lower volumes through the jets, this could lead to inferior performance.  Horsepower quantity is based mostly on powering the number of jets the spa has and can also contribute to higher energy bills.

Maintenance myths
Myth:
If you have an ozone system, you don’t need to add chemicals to your spa to keep it clean.

Truth:
Ozone reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the need for spa chemicals. The ozone system in your spa can help oxidize some contaminants, but it’s not a one-step solution for cleaning the water. You still need chlorine or shock to fully sanitize your hot tub. Make sure to properly test the water and use the appropriate chemicals to keep it clear, clean, and safe. Learn more about common hot tub maintenance myths .

Cleaning myths
Myth:
Cleaning your spa with bleach is the best way to disinfect it.

Truth: Many people use household bleach as a spa or pool sanitizer, even though it can cause damage to the finish of the hot tub’s interior and filter, and can permanently damage the cover. Excessive ozone, chlorine, or bromine levels can also bleach the underside of your spa cover. In addition to draining your water, cleaning your filter, and flushing your spa’s internal plumbing system, try using an all-purpose cleaner  for your hot tub’s surface and cover.

How to Use Technology to Track Your Health

From preventive screenings to greater transparency with food labeling to at-home remedies like the hydrotherapy provided by your hot tub, there is a wellness movement taking place in America, and being proactive about your health is at the heart of it. Here are some additional ways you can take your well-being into your own hands with the help of technology:

The Withings Smart Body Analyzer

With the Smart Body Analyzer from Withings, you can measure your weight, body composition, heart rate, and air quality, all with one device. Not only does this scale provide an extremely accurate weight measurement, but it calculates your body fat and Body Mass Index (BMI) as well. The scale also takes your pulse each time you weigh yourself, so you can track your heart rate. All this information, including your bedroom’s air quality, is stored in the accompanying Health Mate app so you can track your daily health.

Beddit Sleep Sensor

Place the Beddit film sensor under your bedsheet, install the Beddit app on your smartphone, and drift off to sleep. Beddit will monitor your heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles, and sleep time, and the data it collects will be transferred to your phone. When you wake up, you can see how you slept the night before, including restless moments, snoring, and periods where you may have gotten out of bed.

The sensor provides an overall sleep score to help you better understand your individual sleep patterns and determine the things you might need to improve in order to get a better night’s sleep.

Apple® and Samsung’s Health Tracking Plans

Even the world’s two biggest mobile technology companies are getting involved. It was unveiled on June 2 this year at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that Apple will be teaming up with the Mayo Clinic to create a new app called Health.

Health has been described by its developer as “a dashboard for your health,” and will provide an easy-to-read compilation of the data your other health and fitness apps collect. Track the number of steps you take, monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol, and share your data with whomever you like – send the information to your accountability buddies, or keep it private.

Samsung®, not to be outdone, will offer the Simband. Wrap the Simband around your wrist and it will measure diagnostic information, such as heart rate and skin conductance, which can be indicators of illness or stress.

As a hot tub owner, you probably already know the health benefits your spa can bring you. These exciting new technologies will complement your existing efforts and help you maintain and improve your health for years to come.

Five Mobile Apps to Help Improve Your Health

As a hot tub owner, you understand the value of health and fitness, and you probably already use your spa to relax after workouts. If you’re looking for some motivation to push yourself and stay focused on your health, mobile apps can be a great way to freshen up your workouts so you earn that post-exercise soak. Here are five mobile apps to help you reach your health and fitness goals:

Performance Stretching
Stretching is an integral part of fitness and health – you wouldn’t try to run a marathon without loosening up your muscles, right? Unfortunately, the vast majority of us stretch incorrectly, which at best is not helpful, and at worst is quite harmful to our muscles and bones. Performance Stretching helps solve this by showing you the correct way to stretch, as well as what stretches you need to perform as you warm up and cool down. You’ll learn through watching videos of trainers performing the stretches correctly, and each stretching workout will take five minutes or fewer.
Cost: $2.99. Available for iOS

FitnessFast
Customize and keep track of your workouts and activities, all within one app. FitnessFast provides instructions for a large number of exercises, including options for your chest, abs, back, and arms. Not sure you’re doing the exercises right? The app provides video animations so you can follow along correctly. You can set workout reminders, monitor your sleeping habits, and provide graph versions of just about everything you’re doing. You can even share your fitness milestones with your peers via the Facebook and Twitter plugins.
Cost: $0.99. Available for iOS.

Lose It!
Lose It! will help you lose weight in a sustainable way: by cutting calories and tracking your exercise. You can use the free version and focus on weight loss only, or pay for the premium edition and monitor your changing physique. You’ll improve your physical fitness and overall health and even make new connections via the Lose It! internet forums, where you can post updates and meet accountability buddies.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS, Android, Kindle, and Nook.

Fooducate
Fooducate bills itself as a “personal grocery advisor,” rather like a helpful friend who will take up residence in your smartphone and help you make good culinary choices. When you go to the grocery store, scan the barcode on food items that interest you, and Fooducate will give you a full rundown on calories, ingredients, and, if available, healthier alternatives.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

Sleep Cycle
A good night’s sleep is crucial to good health. Once you’ve installed the Sleep Cycle app, place your phone next to you in bed, and it will analyze your sleep habits while you slumber. Rather than jolt you awake out of a deep-sleep phase – which can lead to feeling tired and groggy all day – the app will sound an alarm when you are in a “lighter” phase. You’ll start the day feeling more refreshed and well rested. The app also tracks your general sleep patterns over time, identifying patterns or disturbances you may be experiencing.
Cost: $0.99. Available for iOS.

From stretching and exercise to nutrition and recovery, these five mobile apps can help you reach your goals before, during, and after a workout.

Top Ways to Beat Your Empty Nest Syndrome

For many parents who have devoted their lives to raising their children, dealing with them moving out on their own can be very difficult. While most parents experience a certain level of sadness and nostalgia about no longer being as intricately involved in their sons or daughters’ lives, an empty nest also opens up a world of possibilities. Today, we’ll take a look at some ways to help you adapt to and enjoy your new lifestyle.

Focus on You
While there may be nothing more satisfying than being selfless and sacrificing personal gratification for the betterment of your children’s lives, this is the time to discover how fun it can be to focus on yourself or your relationship with your partner. Maybe you get to sleep in more; maybe your weekends are open again rather than being at their sporting events. Whatever it may be, try to appreciate the opportunity to rediscover things that you enjoy doing with your newfound flexibility. Write down a list of things you had always wanted to get around to doing and do them!

Lean on Friends and Family
While your kids may be moving on to college or “the real world,” that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Lean on your friends and family during this transition and try branching out. Meetup groups or even adult continuing education classes are a great way to find new friends and new hobbies.

Volunteer
Helping make a difference in someone’s life is one of the things that parents find so rewarding. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to help make a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most. Get involved with your city’s local volunteer organization or reach out to nonprofit organizations in your area to ask how you can help.

Get a Pet

Sometimes the loss of companionship is the hardest part about not having your children around as frequently. Pets are the ultimate companions and have proven to increase happiness and life satisfaction. Your local animal shelter or pet rescue organizations are always looking for people who can provide a loving home.

Transform Your Home
Now is the time to transform your home into a more fun, relaxing place for you and your partner. Perhaps you’d like to convert one of the kids’ rooms into an art studio or man cave. Maybe you can finally repaint all the walls. Or perhaps invest in some serious relaxation by adding a hot tub to your backyard. In addition to providing a number of therapeutic benefits for stress relief and exercise recovery, soaking in a hot tub can be that thing you look forward to each day.

Empty nest syndrome is normal for parents; the key is keeping it in perspective and learning how to enjoy this new phase of your life. Whether it’s a cooking class, new dog, or hot tub, you’ll soon start remembering how much fun you can have without the kids around.

Five Ways to Get Out and Enjoy the Fresh Air

Spending way too much time indoors and in front of your computer? Change up your regular routine and get outside into clear water and fresh air. Here are five of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors:

1. Snorkeling
If you’re near any body of water, you can slip on flippers and a snorkel and take a look at the world beneath the surface. In lakes and oceans, you’ll find an aquatic environment teeming with life, from coral reefs and fish to small sharks and hermit crabs.

2. Paddleboard

Strengthen your core and practice your balance when you go paddleboarding. This leisurely sport is offered at many lakes, rivers, and harbors, and no special skills are required. If you end up falling off, the cool water will be there to soften your fall. Just remember to wear sunscreen as the bright reflection from the water can easily cause burns.

3. Polar Bear Plunge

If you’re near a body of water, odds are there’s a local social club who makes it their business to dive in – usually in the name of charity. Larger groups often raise quite a bit of money for various charitable causes and the chilly water is thought to have health benefits by increasing adrenaline and the flow of oxygen to blood vessels. Most plungers report feelings of euphoria after emerging.

4. Aquathlon

If proving your physical prowess is high on your bucket list, an aquathlon match might be just the way to prove yourself. After running for a set distance, you’ll go for a swim – usually for a lesser distance – and then put on your sneakers and run again. Provided you aren’t competing professionally, you can adjust the distance and rules to apply to your local lake or pool.

5. Soak in a Hot Tub

There’s nothing quite like easing into the bubbling warmth of a spa. Not only is a great (and perhaps much-needed, in some cases) follow-up to the aforementioned activities, it’s also equally enjoyable whether you’re on your own or soaking with friends. You can relax in your hot tub and enjoy the fresh air in your backyard no matter what the season.

Spa to Sleep: Let Your Jacuzzi® Relieve Your insomnia

A growing number of Americans report suffering from insomnia – the inability to fall asleep (or stay asleep, if they do manage to nod off). If you suffer from sleeplessness and are searching for methods to cure it, a hot tub may very well contribute to more restful nights. The following includes some general information about insomnia and how a spa can help:

Definition of Insomnia

According to WebMD, insomnia is a “sleep disorder,” characterized chiefly by sleeplessness. Even when sufferers do manage to fall into slumber, they wake up tired and may remain groggy throughout the day. Your insomnia may be limited to one or two sleepless nights a year, or you may find difficulty nodding off for months at a time.

Causes and Effects of Insomnia

The causes of this condition depend on what type of insomnia you have. WebMD suggests two classes: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia may be brought on by sudden, temporary stress; an abrupt change in temperature (heat spikes in late summer, for example); or a reaction to medication. Chronic insomnia often accompanies prolonged stress, various psychiatric conditions, and physical pain.

The effects of these symptoms will depend on the individual, but you may find yourself consistently fatigued, forgetful, and clumsy, meaning chronic insomnia can have a tremendously negative impact on your job and personal life.

How a Hot Tub Can Help

Sitting in a hot tub before bedtime can ward off insomnia in many ways. If you’ve got a lot of stressors in your life, taking some dedicated time to unwind can work wonders to clear your head and let your body relax. Hot water can reduce physical pain, also a noted insomnia trigger. As your body and mind loosen up, you may find yourself better able to drift off.

When used properly, your spa can help you create a healthier, more relaxed lifestyle. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning treatment for any sort of condition.

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