Hot-tub lovin’ not without risks
WATER THERAPY? Mountain professionals learn quickly to avoid public tubs
BY ROBIN SUMMERFIELD CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
— Calgary Herald
A dip in a hot tub is great, and therapeutic, if you know the waters have been properly looked after. DEWITT JONES — FOR THE PROVINCE
One season working at a remote heli-skiing lodge in the Rockies and you learn the golden rules of survival pretty quickly.
Wear your avalanche transceiver, always ski with a buddy and avoid the hot tub.
We staffers never took chances, especially when it came to the hot, massaging,invigorating waters of the Jet Master.
With 44 international guests flying into our remote mountain home each week, we rarely dipped in after Day 2 of their arrival. After that 48-hour mark, the freshly changed water didn’t seem so fresh to us.
Yes,the hot tub is hard to resist after a day of hard skiing and boarding. But think about this next time you feel like a little water therapy: You could be relaxing in skin soup.
Hot tubbing sounds great in theory and, to be fair, chemicals do zap a lot of the nasties swimming around with you.However,hitting the spa can sometimes be a dicey proposition on both the cleanliness and, as some research shows, the health front.
In an improperly cared-for hot tub, taking that dip could mean marinating in fecal matter, sloughed skin, body oil, hair, soap film, dirt and other bodily fluids left behind during hottub escapades. (Use your imagination.)
Hot-tubbing women are twice as likely to miscarry in early pregnancy compared to those who abstained, a study published in the November 2003 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology found.
Despite the reported risks, our hottub-lovin’ days aren’t numbered.
Back on and then off the slopes,hitting the hot water is as much a skiing and boarding tradition as incessantly complaining or raving about the conditions.
“It’s always been a part of après-ski when the muscles are sore,” says Big White and Silver Star spokesman Steve Threndyle in Kelowna.
At the Okanagan resorts, condos, duplexes and triplexes with the big tubs are hot renters.
“There is something decadent about having it in your suite.It really appeals to people,” he says. The tubs are tops for relaxation and great for parents, who use the hot waters as sedatives for their keyed-up kids, Threndyle surmises. “It’s alluring to a lot of people.” Yes,the powerful,massaging jets feel fabulous on those spent skiing and boarding muscles. Just know the waters you’re dipping into and who you’re dipping in with.
You’re soaking in it
Cloudy water could mean a clogged or worn-out filter or “activities”by children.
Skin irritation could mean bacteria-laden slime, or a buildup of gases.
Scum or tub ring could mean buildup of body oils, lotion residues or worn out filters.