Finding the time to take a bath is a wise thing to do. Even though showers are quicker and in some instances more hygienic, soaking in the tub is both soothing and healing. Water is nature’s healer and hot water has wonderful benefits on the skin and muscles. It also calms the internal organs and the endocrine system by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal cord.
Apart from the fact that a soak in the bath is the only time many of us have to ourselves, studies from around the globe show that spending time relaxing in hot water soothes pains away, loosens up cramped muscles, lowers back pain, relieves stress, relieves fatigue, lowers body weight, aids digestion and induces sleep when it is needed.
So take the time to indulge and enjoy the following benefits that bathing has to offer:
Hot Baths Induce Relaxation and Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation has shown that a short soak prior to going to bed can ease the transition into a deeper, more restful sleep. The temperature change may be a signal to the body that it’s time to sleep, or the sensation of weightlessness may relax the muscles. It has also been found that sleep deepens as body temperature falls which explains why it’s good to have your bath just before going to bed. The sleep improvement may also be related to hot water’s relaxing properties — the buoyancy of water reduces body weight by approximately 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles creating the sensation of weightlessness.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) believes that many cases of insomnia can be traced to hectic, stressful lifestyles which brings us on to our next point.
Take a Bath to De-stress and Get Healthy
The link between stress and illness concerns all of us interested in a more vital life. Mental tensions, frustrations, and insecurity are among the most damaging types of stress. Everything is inter-connected and when we experience stress, the heart works harder, our breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, and our digestion slows. As a result nearly every process of the body is degraded. Rresearchers have estimated that 80% of disease is stress related, and since we usually can’t avoid it, the key to dealing with stress is relieving it. But as you’ve probably guessed, a relaxing soak in the bath can counteract stress and its effects on the body. The warm waters and soothing massage work to relieve anxiety and relax your tense muscles.
Want to go for Run? Why not take a Bath Instead?
Studies have shown that soaking in a hot tub gives many of the health benefits of exercise with less strain on the heart! This is because a hot bath increases the heart rate while it lowers blood pressure rather than raising it as does other forms of exercise.
Hot Baths Relieve Pain
Soaking your body into water of any temperature makes you feel weightless and, because of a change in hydrostatic pressure, can help dull any pain you may be feeling. As the body tries to register a temperature change, the central nervous system becomes depressed, contributing to muscle relaxation and temporarily relieving, or at least lessening, pain. This can happen with any drastic change in temperature, hot or cold, but most people are more comfortable sitting in warm water than holding an ice pack.
(Remember, for recent injuries where there is swelling or broken skin, an ice pack is more suitable.)
Hot baths Help Your Muscles to Relax
When the warm blood brought on by your hot bath, reaches deeper and deeper into the muscles it causes the vessels to expand, which in turn, causes the muscles to relax. The muscle-relaxation effects of hot water also help deaden muscle pain by easing any pinching of nerves or blood vessels, and by helping the muscle rid itself of lactic acid and other metabolic wastes.
Hot Baths are Great for Your Circulation and Blood Pressure
A great benefit of soaking in hot water is an improved circulation and blood pressure. Immersion in hot water first speeds up the heart to send blood to the surface and disperse extra body heat into the air. But after a few minutes, the warm blood causes the blood vessels to dilate, which lowers the blood pressure. This is why a hot soak is such a relief after a hard days work!
In fact, one study taken in Colorado has shown that people suffering from type 2 diabetes have significantly brought their blood sugar down by regularly soaking in a hot tub for 15 to 30 minutes each day. Doctors who conducted the study attributed this to the increased blood flow to the skeletal muscles that was brought on by the hot water.
Hot Baths can Help Relieve Arthritis
According to a publication from The Arthritis Foundation, “Regular sessions in your hot tub helps keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage…A hot tub fulfills the need perfectly . . . providing the warmth, massage, and buoyancy that is so necessary to the well-being of arthritis sufferers. The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints and encourages freer movement.”
Hot Baths Help You to Eliminate Toxins
It’s quite simple really – when you take a bath, the hot water raises your body temperature, causing you to perspire, and this perspiration helps rid your body of toxins via your pores.
Want to Loose Some Weight? Take a Bath
Seriously! Recent studies have proven that the regular use of hot tubs can aid in the reduction of weight, as well as diminish the appearance of cellulite. This stems from the fact that soaking in a hot tub simulates exercise. The hydrotherapy dilates the blood vessels, promoting better circulation as it relaxes the skin and muscles. It also raises the heart rate, while lowering blood pressure
Regular use of hot tubs can also help to diminish the appearance of cellulite. The fatty deposits that typically gather on the hips, thighs, and buttocks of most women past their 30s can never be fully eliminated. The design of a woman’s body naturally causes the skin to dimple out, whether she is overweight or thin. However, by improving circulation to the areas affected by cellulite, it has been proven that the appearance of the unsightly deposits can be reduced.