By Greg Barbera
When we’re cold during the winter, a vision of a cozy living room with a roaring fire in the fireplace often comes to mind—or the available heated seats and available heated steering wheel on the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe. The last thing we usually think about is getting wet. But whether it’s at a hotel or in your home, warm water therapy is an excellent way to unwind, recharge and, most importantly when you’re chilly, raise your body’s core temperature.
At the Amangani resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the hot tub is the centerpiece. It sits at 7,000 feet above sea level and offers a view of East Gros Ventre Butte—a stress reliever in itself.
But the hot tub experience isn’t just about once-in-a-lifetime views. It can also be an everyday experience in your own backyard (literally or metaphorically), and accommodate your family and friends. You can find hot tubs to buy in all sizes, from two-person tubs to a 20-person swim spa, and with a “more is merrier” attitude you’ll swiftly become party central.
If you dare to be different, get yourself a hot tub boat, an inflatable floating glacier-like hot tub or, if you really want to splurge, a two-tiered Jacuzzi with a sound system, flat-screen TV and even a mini-bar. Warming up has never been so cool.
If you prefer to sweat your way to warmth, saunas are the way to go. The word sauna is actually Finnish for “bathhouse,” because Finns traditionally used the sauna solely for cleansing. Real aficionados can indulge in a truly unique experience by trying the original smoke sauna. Alternatively, especially if you have arthritis, try an infrared sauna, which also reportedly helps rid your body of toxins.
Since both hot tubs and saunas involve high heat, it’s essential to keep your encounters to no longer than 20 minutes. Anyone who is pregnant or has preexisting medical conditions should avoid both options. Check with your doctor first, drink lots of water and, most of all, enjoy the warmth.
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Greg Barbera of DadCentric is a dad blogger, beer magazine editor and the singer/bass player for the punk band Chest Pains. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You can follow him on twitter @gregeboy, tumblr, Facebook and Blogger. Want to know more? Just Google him.