Taking a quick shower or bath is usually part of your morning rituals before going to work or doing daily regular activities. Just like brushing your teeth, bathing helps maintain proper hygiene. Aside from feeling clean and fresh, a bath will immediately wake you up and give much needed energy for the day.
However, hot baths give you more benefits that you might be aware of. In fact, it provides several health advantages which are vital in maintaining overall proper health.
1. Strengthens the Heart
You probably don’t know the fact that dipping your body in hot water gives the same effects as doing light exercise. When the body, usually from neck down the feet, is exposed to hot bath, pressure is received by the blood vessels, thus the heart is forced to work faster and stronger. In addition to improving various heart functions, overall blood circulation is also promoted.
It is recommended to dip your body in hot water in the morning. Using bath tub half filled with hot or lukewarm water will optimize the effects.
2. Relaxes Stiff Muscles
After a stressful day or tiring workout session, your muscles usually feel stiffness or pain. Constant pressure or overstretching are just some of the reasons why stress is felt on the muscles, joints and bones. Taking a hot bath will effectively provide soothing and calming effects. It can even minimize the pain or swelling brought about by sports injuries. This is the reason why you often see sports athletes dipping their bodies in hot bath after playing.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from high blood pressure, taking a hot bath is already probably in your daily rituals. Studies have proven the effectiveness of hot bath in regulating sudden increase in blood pressure.
However, if high blood pressure is caused by a heart condition, it is still best to consult your doctor if it is indeed safe to do regular hot baths. Although it is generally safe, hot baths also increase the possibility of having faster heartbeat, which can trigger a heart condition.
4. Regulates Diabetes
In addition to people suffering from high blood pressure, taking a hot bath is also beneficial for diabetes patients. Studies show that soaking your body in a hot tub on a regular basis will eventually lower sugar and glucose levels in the blood. It is recommended to do soaking sessions for about 30 minutes per day for a maximum of 6 times per week. Furthermore, studies also reveal that dipping in a hot tub results to faster weight loss. A study was conducted wherein a group of people wanting to lose weight were asked to do daily hot bath sessions for a week. The result showed that this group lost about 2 kilos in just one month compared to the group who did not do soaking sessions.
5. Cleaner Skin
One of the most common reasons why you regularly take a bath is to clean your skin – body and face. However, using hot water enables the pores to open up and release dirt, harmful substances and toxins. It is advised to use hot water during bathing to open skin pores and splash cold water to close the pores after cleaning. The result is cleaner, fresher and better looking skin.
6. Minimize Headaches
There are many causes of headaches including hangover, lack of sleep, improper diet, etc. It is fact that most headaches are caused by the narrowing of the blow vessels in the head, thus experiencing pressure which leads to headache. As stated earlier, taking a hot bath will immediately relieve pressure from the blood vessels while allowing proper blood and air flow. So next time you have a headache, try to take a hot bath first before taking over the counter medicines that can develop side effects.
7. Better Sleep
In addition to waking the senses and energizing the body, a hot bath can also have an opposite effect – give you better quality sleep. Taking a hot bath before going to bed especially after a stressful day will relax the muscles and calm the nerves both physically and emotionally. However, avoid spending too much time on the hot tub to prevent falling asleep at that very moment. Limit your hot bath or soaking session to a maximum of 10 minutes.
Aside from feeling relaxed and ready to sleep, nightly hot bath allows your body to prepare in advance for activities the next day.
8. Treats Cough
People who are in to natural treatments prefer taking a hot bath to cure common health issues such as common cough and cold rather than taking commercially made medicines that contain chemicals. Exposing the throat area to heat allows better secretion of mucus, which commonly causes cough.
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