With winter months bringing the usual bouts of flu and other illnesses, you may think that using the hot tub in the cold is not the best idea. But believe it or not, using the hot tub in the winter has health benefits that can prevent or help heal a winter cold, aid in purifying your skin, and reduce muscle aches and pains.
The air may be cold, but the water set at the suggested temperature between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit is actually far cozier than sitting in a chilly house, even under blankets.
The key health benefits of using a hot tub in the winter (and practically anytime) are:
- Stress relief: Soaking in a spa hot tub can be soothing, recuperative, and key factor in helping to relax. In fact, your blood pressure decreases every time you sit in a hot tub.
- Clearer Skin: With heat, the pores of your face will open up and unclog leading to clearer skin, but the benefits go further than just your face. “Heat therapy” can assist in purification of acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, or even burns.
- Muscle Recovery: Warm water can increase circulation, thus helping to heal muscles that need to recover. When soaking in a hot tub (especially one with warm jets), circulation is increased — which allows the blood to supply nutrients that help cells and tissues regenerate.
- Aches and Pains: Using the hot tub in the cold to soak has therapeutic benefits and can help relieve arthritis, neck, and back pain.
You can also stay energy-efficient while using the hot tub in the winter by turning off the breaker that runs the heater and protects the electrical switches. Every hot tub has a circulation pump that runs 24 hours a day, and heats up cold water using much less energy than if the heater was running. Once the water reaches 75 degrees, you can turn the heater back on to heat the water up to the recommended temperature of just under 104 degrees.
You can also run the jets with the cover of the hot tub closed while the spa is heating. The heat from the pumps can warm up the water using much less energy as well.
Using the hot tub in the winter can reduce the amount of illnesses you catch, as long as you keep up good hygiene and sanitation measures, and keep your water at the correct temperature. When hot-tubbing it, be sure to check the water balance/cleanliness, keep temperatures raised, soak often (but not more than 30 minutes at a time), and stay hydrated.
Plant bulbs are generally planted in the fall or spring, but in reality, they can be planted anytime so long as you can physically dig a hole. There are many types of bulb plants, including lilies, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips, just to name a few. While each plant is different, you can generally plant them in the same manner, but you should always adhere to the planting instructions that come with your specific bulbs.
Plant your bulbs in early winter if possible. You cannot plant bulbs while the ground is frozen, so if it is, place your bulbs in a thick plastic bag called a poly bag, which is available at your local home and garden store. Then store them in a cool, dark and dry place like your garage. However, plant them as soon as possible when you can successfully dig some holes.
Plan to plant bulbs about three to six inches apart, depending on the type of bulbs. For instance, tulips and daffodils spread and grow quickly and should be planted about six inches apart, but crocuses and snowdrops should be planted only three inches apart
Plan to cluster your bulbs together. You can even mix varieties. Place smaller growing plants in front and larger ones in the back.
Dig holes that are about five inches deep for small bulbs and eight inches deep for large bulbs. The diameter of the hole should be twice as large as the bulb.
Put the bulbs in the ground with the pointed end facing up. This is the end from which the sprout will emerge.
Mix some compost or peat moss in with the soil you just dug up. Use that new soil mix to cover the bulbs. Pat the soil down with your hands to avoid any air pockets.
Mulch over the area. A couple inches of mulch will help keep your bulbs in the ground warm until spring when you may see the green sprouts begin to emerge and then bloom soon thereafter. If not, they should bloom the next season.
5 Steps To Improving Results When Melting Ice
Step 1: Get rid of the snow. Sounds easy enough. Clear any snow accumulations using a shovel, broom or snow blower. Lets face it, you cant just throw salt on 8″ of snow and hope it melts.
Step 2: Apply it right. If you have one, use a spreader. A fertilizer spreader with wheels or handheld spreader ensures that you apply ice melt in a thin, even layer. Rinse the spreader between uses. Or sprinkle it on using an old coffee can with holes punched in the bottom. Always wear gloves if applying by hand. If you apply too much spread it out with a broom.
Step 3: Protect concrete, grass and shrubs when melting ice. Most of the damage to concrete surfaces is caused by using too much ice melt and, especially for concrete, the freeze/thaw cycle that they’re subjected to. If your concrete is less than a year old, its not recommended to use rock salt or magnesium chloride products.
Follow the application amount on the packaging. If you’re concerned about surface damage, consider kitty litter, playsand, or sawdust. Avoid spreading ice melt close to plants and shrubs and getting too much on your lawn.
Step 4: Protect your family and neighbors. Ice melt pebbles are most commonly brought into the house by winter boots and shoes. If you have small children or toddlers, be sure you are cleaning off your shoes before coming into the house.
If anyone ingests ice melt, call 911 or the American Association of Poison Control Centers (800-222-1222). before visiting the ER because they’re equipped to handle these exposures.
Step 5: Protect your pets. Pets can develop dryness and irritation on their paws and skin if they walk through ice melting products. Pets can also develop mouth irritation if they eat the chemicals or the resulting water. Consider using a salt-free ice melt that is safe for pets.