Walk In Bathtubs & 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

The US government recently published this list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions made by US citizens:

  1. Drink Less Alcohol
  2. Get a Better Education
  3. Get a Better Job
  4. Get Fit
  5. Lose Weight
  6. Manage Debt
  7. Manage Stress
  8. Quit Smoking
  9. Save Money
  10. Take a Trip
  11. Volunteer to Help Others

This list got the folks here at FreeStyle Magazine thinking, “What can we do to help people accomplish these goals, or at least get them on the right track?” We put our heads together, brainstormed a bit, and kept coming back to the following idea:

Purchase a walk-in bathtub.

And yes, we know exactly what you are thinking: “Well, of course they’re going to say that!” or “What the heck do walk-in bathtubs have to do with any of those resolutions?” And yes, we absolutely admit to being partial to the Safety Tubs® line of walk-in bathtubs.

But, to be perfectly honest, walk-in bathtubs, whether they are the Safety Tubs® brand or another brand, are incredibly adept tools for managing overall health and well being. Since so many of the resolutions in the list published by the US government aim to improve both health and well being, the use of walk-in bathtubs seemed like a pretty natural fit.

To help illuminate our thought process, here’s how we arrived at the conclusions we did regarding walk-in bathtubs and how they can help people achieve their New Year’s Resolution goals.

1) Resolution #1: Drink Less Alcohol

According to experts, people who abuse alcohol do so for different reasons but the most common are stress, boredom, escapism and social pressure. While using a walk-in bathtub to administer different forms of hydrotherapy can’t help a person directly cope with social pressure, it can help them directly cope with the other three: stress, boredom and escapism. Relaxing in a warm, deep bath, especially those with massaging hydrotherapy options, relaxes a person both mentally and physically through multiple physical methods (for more on this topic, see our previous feature article on Hydrotherapy). Boredom often leads to stress, and both can be addressed by spending an hour pampering yourself with a spa like experience in your walk-in bathtub.

Escapism is the need to get away from normal routines and stressful bits of everyday life. People can embark on “mini-vacations” by spending some time enjoying water jet or air massage, breathing in therapeutic scents using the aromatherapy option and enjoying the changing scenery and mood enhancement delivered with the chromatherapy option. The experience a person tailors for themselves in their walk-in bathtub can significantly and positively affect their mood, level of stress, and physical well-being, all factors that help in the control of urges to drink.

2) Resolution #2: Getting a Better Education

While it may seem like a bit of a stretch, it really isn’t. American Standard, the parent company of SafetyTubs® brand of walk-in bathtubs and seated safety showers, contributes financially each year to the communities that support them, including to scholarship programs and financial assistance for education. Purchasing a product from a company that is supportive of the community ultimately helps them help others. When a person decides to purchase a product, whether it’s a walk-in bathtub or piece of clothing or food, it is in their best interest to support a company that invests in its community and works hard to give back to those who support them. Purchasing product from a company that is a “good citizen” might quite literally result in money back in the purchaser’s pockets or in programs that help them personally pursue educational opportunities.

3) Resolution #3: Getting a Better Job

A walk-in bathtub can’t give someone work experience they don’t have, or get them in the door to see someone who wouldn’t ordinarily take their call but it can help people prepare physically and mentally to look and feel their best when they do meet prospective employers face-to-face. Any of the thousands of guides to interviewing that are available today discuss the importance of personal hygiene and confidence when conducting business with people, including while interviewing. The therapeutic relaxation people experience while enjoying full body soaks (and the soak in a Safety Tub® walk in bathtub is a full body immersion soak that employs a comfortable, almost weightless reclining position) actually causes physical changes in the body, changes that help people combat stress, feel healthier, and more at ease. These subtle changes in the body help people feel more confident and composed when in an interviewing situation. If a person already has a job, relaxation therapy can help them handle stress better, become more focused mentally, and perform better on a daily basis, all benefits that help increase chances of promotion or help people succeed more readily with a business of their own.

4) Resolution #4: Getting Fit

To get fit, a person needs to exercise. Exercise often leads to stretched, pulled or broken-down muscles, joint compression and tendon or ligament pulls and strains, all of which result in temporary pain. Walk-in bathtubs will help relieve those aches and pains with therapeutic full-body soaks and hydrotherapy. Safety Tubs® walk-in tubs help ease entry and exits with a convenient molded seat that makes full-body soaks easy and comfortable. Many typical tubs only allow a person to submerge part of their body at a time, and often are difficult for older or mobility impaired people – who often exercise using methods like Chair Aerobics – to safely enter and exit. A walk-in bath offers an important post-exercise treatment to keep muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments as healthy as possible and to keep pain to a minimum.

5) Resolution #5: Losing Weight

Regular full body soaks in hot water result in a number of physical changes in the body: it increases circulation, aiding in the speed at which fluids are moved throughout the body and it relaxes the muscles, including the muscles in the wall of blood vessels, allowing blood to move more quickly and increasing circulation to parts of the body that may not normally experience increased blood flow. All of these small changes help the lymph system perform more efficiently. The lymph system plays a role in the formation of a certain, infamous type of subcutaneous fat cell: cellulite. Cellulite occurs when blood microcirculation, venous flow and/or lymphatic drainage to the subcutaneous layer is impaired. Soaking in a hot bath, particularly one with jet or air massage, can actually help prevent the formation of cellulite and lessen the amount of cellulite that has formed by helping the body better cope with the proper movement of blood and lymph fluids. While a person may not actually lose weight simply by soaking in walk-in bathtub, it certainly can help improve the appearance of cellulite and regular soaks will help prevent the formation of new cellulite in the future.

6) Resolution #6: Managing Debt

In these difficult economic times, many people have become more aware of how careful financial planning is crucial to their well-being in the future. The purchase of a walk-in bathtub, even if it is not yet required, makes a lot of financial sense and can actually help save money in the long run, which in turn helps them manage debt load. Firstly, installing a walk-in bathtub lessens the risk of the most popular type of bathroom injuries: slips, trips and falls. Avoiding one accident can save thousands of dollars in medical bills, particularly if the accident results in a severe injury like a broken bone. Secondly, a walk-in bathtub offers the opportunity to enjoy different forms of hydrotherapy, which in turn helps the body maintain health and helps ease pain. This can lower the number of trips to the doctor’s office and even reduce the need for prescription drugs, saving money on an on-going basis. Third, the installation of a walk-in tub ensures that no matter what common mobility challenges a person might experience as they age, there will be no need to remodel the bathroom in the future to accommodate changing physical needs. Thinking ahead today will help manage expenses and debt in the future.

7) Resolution #7: Managing Stress

A core component to other resolutions (like drinking less, getting fit and quitting smoking), managing stress is absolutely critical to good physical and mental health. Everyone manages stress in slightly different ways, but experts agree that there are a number of common practices that benefit everyone, regardless of their particular likes or dislikes, and they include activities like going for a walk, calling a good friend, having a good workout, and yes, taking a long bath and getting a massage. A good, long, warm, comfortable soak in a walk-in tub, which allows full-body immersion and provides the ultimate soaking experience, causes many beneficial changes in the body that all help contribute to the relaxation of muscles and help soothe people emotionally. Add in hydrotherapy massage, and the relaxation is even more complete. The result is the physical alleviation of stress and a happier, more content state-of-mind.

8) Resolution #8: Quitting Smoking

Like drinking, smoking can be a psychological response for dealing with external pressures. Many times the external trigger for smoking is stress, anxiety, boredom and the need to “escape” from a situation. An important part of maintaining the willpower necessary to avoid smoking (or relapsing into the habit if one has already quit) is to foster a positive attitude and optimistic state of mind. These are tools that give a person the best chance of conquering their desire to smoke when situations arise that have previously triggered the need. This is much easier to achieve if one is relaxed and in good health, and walk-in bathtubs can help people reach that state through relaxation therapy. Pampering oneself with a spa-like experience leads to a happier and more relaxed state of being, helping a person to maintain the strength needed to combat smoking desires when they arise.

9) Resolution #9: Saving Money

Remodeling a bathroom once is much more cost-effective than remodeling it twice. When a person thinks ahead about the needs they may have in the future and finds a solution that works for the here and now as well, they can significantly decrease the need for costly bathroom updates. Walk-in bathtubs, particularly models from Safety Tubs®, are attractive additions to current bathrooms and offer a slew of health and safety benefits, benefits that become even more apparent as time goes by. Incorporating universal design principals today means no need for costly changes in the future, saving both money and time.

10) Resolution #10: Take a Trip

While a luxurious, spa-like experience in a walk-in bathtub is not an actual physical trip, it certainly can be a mental one and provide similar benefits in terms of relaxation and rejuvenation. Soaking in hot water and enjoying the sensations of water jet and air bubble hydrotherapy as well as aromatherapy and chromatherapy soothes and refreshes the body, which physically affects the mind in the same way “vacation” time does. Many times it’s not feasible, either financially or in terms of time, to take a trip when one would like, and hydrotherapy in a walk-in tub can provide sessions of mini-relief that help keep one balanced and healthful until the opportunity to embark upon a ‘true’ vacation presents itself.

11) Resolution #11: Volunteer to Help Others

The many health and safety benefits a walk-in bathtub offers can be extremely beneficial to people who don’t have one, and voluntarily gifting people with a walk-in bathtub is a thoughtful way to improve the quality of their lives. Another way to voluntarily help others is to educate people on the benefits of hydrotherapy and the safety features walk in bathtubs offer, as many people still aren’t aware that walk-in bathtubs exist, or the myriad of benefits they offer. Given that a large percentage of the injuries elderly people suffer occur in the bathroom, helping them understand their safety options is a great way to make a positive difference in their lives.