It was 1992 when British former track and field athlete Sally Gunnell won the Olympic gold for her legendary 400-metre hurdle, and to this day, she remains the only woman to have held all four major track titles at once. While she’s hung up her running trainers since then, Sally has continued her legacy by empowering others to take control of their health and wellbeing; an endeavor that’s closely aligned with Jacuzzi’s very own story.
The Jacuzzi brand was born from a pursuit for wellness. When Ken Jacuzzi was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, his youngest brother set out to invent a product that would help improve his quality of life. The finished result was the J-300; a portable pump that brought the many benefits of hydrotherapy home – but this turned out to be just the beginning of something much bigger.
Fast forward more than 70 years and the Jacuzzi name is now at the forefront of holistic health. We’ve developed a series of indulgent hot tubs, swim spas, whirlpool baths, saunas and steam showers that, when combined, create what’s now known as the Jacuzzi Lifestyle – a self-care regime that takes users from low-impact training to recovery; detoxification to relaxation, and all from the comfort of home.
Jacuzzi has been a staple in Sally’s household for almost 20 years now. In this time, her J-495 hot tub has evolved from a space for recovery after high-intensity workouts to a place for supporting body functionality as she moves through life, and now, she’s embracing the many benefits of the Jacuzzi Lifestyle by adding a swim spa to her collection.
The Jacuzzi SwimExpert 17 features special jets designed to deliver a wider, deeper and smoother current for enhanced at-home swimming – which, when used alongside the J-495, encourages a healthier balance between exercise and recovery.
“Those natural endorphins after a swim get my heart rate up and I feel so much better. The swim spa and hot tub are very much part of my holistic approach to wellbeing. I often call it my ‘me’ time.”
The arrival of the swim spa has made introducing a well-rounded workout routine into everyday life easier for Sally, and as a huge advocate of ‘optimising your age’, she’s been able to continue performing at her peak both mentally and physically. The SwimExpert 17 provides rehabilitation on less energetic days and keeps exercise during injury safe, while the temperature of the hot tub clears out lactic acid after training to ease any aches and pains.
“Exercise for me now is all about keeping myself fit and healthy as much as I can to carry on enjoying life, especially as I get older. It’s about having enough energy for life, muscle strength, balance and keeping that heart healthy.”
In addition to the physical benefits, combining fitness and relaxation in this way is proven to have a positive impact on more psychological aspects of life, like sleep. Research has shown that comforting routines like soaking in a hot tub for around half an hour before bed leads to a deeper and healthier sleep cycle – and Sally isn’t the only one who’s been taking advantage.
Husband Jonathan Bigg, also a fellow athlete, and their three kids are all health and fitness enthusiasts, and just a few weeks on, Sally has already spoken about how the new Jacuzzi Lifestyle has improved the way each of them train and recuperate. The boys often swap their second run of the day for a session in the swim spa, and when everyone’s winding down for the day, the hot tub gives this active family the perfect excuse to catch up.
“Jacuzzi hot tubs have been part of our life for 19 years. We’re on our second tub, and I always say it’s one of the best things we ever bought when the kids were young. It really got us all chatting and spending quality family time together.”
As a Jacuzzi Ambassador and long-time enthusiast, Sally will be giving us even more insight into what her Jacuzzi Lifestyle looks like and how to ‘optimise your age’, as well as providing first-hand advice on family training and wellness in our upcoming Performance Podcast. Keep checking back for the latest updates.