Most people have fond memories of taking baths as a kid. They were an excuse to have fun while you cleaned up, but that changed as you got older. Adults don’t always have enough time to relax in a hot bath, which is why so many rely on daily showers instead.
Showering is great when you only have a few minutes to freshen up, but there are surprising health benefits to bathing that you won’t get in a shower. Besides having more time to relax and de-stress after a long day, your health will improve in more than a few ways after a good bubble bath.
Check out these seven benefits of taking a bath once in a while. Enjoy your quick showers when you need to and then pamper yourself with a luxurious bath to see these positive changes in your health and wellness.
Working a full-time or part-time job requires all of your attention and energy. It drains you by the end of the day, leaving you exhausted and worn out. This is especially true if you work on your feet. You may end every day with tight muscles and body aches.
When you feel that way, lay down in a bath. The warm water relaxes muscles and eases the soreness by encouraging more lactic acid production to heal torn muscle fibers. It’s an inexpensive and quick solution to sore feet and legs after a workday.
People with anxiety or other nervous system conditions often receive referrals for hydrotherapy. It’s where professionals use warm or cold water to ease symptoms. Specifically, warm water calms the nervous system and increases the production of beta-endorphins, which make you feel good as your body relaxes into the bath.
Warm water has always been a recommended way to handle diabetes symptoms, but doctors didn’t know how it worked until recently. The Journal of Applied Physiology found that hot water reduced intestinal inflammation and insulin resistance, improving blood sugar levels almost immediately. When used alongside diet, exercise and any prescribed medications, a warm bath can help your body get back to normal blood sugar levels.
When you sit in the tub for ten minutes or more, your body temperature rises and you begin to sweat. Although you won’t notice the sweat in your bath, it’s how your body detoxes your system of heavy metals and other toxins. Warming your body in a tub encourages detoxing and cleanses your system without making you feel sweaty or gross.
Your skin care routine may require products that reach deep in your pores to give you clean skin, but they won’t be as effective if you have tight pores. Soaking in a bath gently opens those pores and releases bacteria, so you can clean your face and body more thoroughly. Use your favorite skin care products as you bathe or after you rinse off to see and feel immediate results.
There’s no way to prevent all signs of aging as you get older, but you can delay or reduce them with an occasional bath. Relaxing in steaming water lowers your cortisol levels, which is the hormone that induces premature aging. Even bathing once a week will help you look younger well after you would typically start dealing with things like wrinkles.
An Osaka University study published in Heart journal recently found that when people took regular baths, they were 28% less likely to develop heart disease. The study followed participants for 20 years so they could discover the long-term effects. This development is most likely due to the warm water relieving blood vessel tension and improving blood flow throughout the body, putting less pressure on the heart.
You can enjoy all of the bathing benefits from adding a bath to your schedule even just once a week. Think about what you’d enjoy most with your bath, like scented soaps, wine or a good book and relax in style. Your body will thank you later.