It’s the end of what seemed like an endless day, your work gave you a major headache and the kids didn’t help much to improve your mood. The house is finally in silence and you’re desperately looking for something that helps you end your day on a positive note. What you might be thinking is to hop in the bathtub and let your troubles fade away.
Hot baths have been around for centuries as the solution for several problems. Feeling sick? Take a bath. Feeling stressed? Take a bath. Feeling bored? Take a bath! Let’s see in which ways can hot baths actually make your life a little better. You can also check more healthy tips on BiggieTips.
- Helps you Breathe Easier and Relieves Cold and Flu Symptoms: Taking a dip into a steaming bathtub can improve the way some people breathe. If you immerse your body in hot water past your chest, your lung capacity and oxygen intake will improve greatly This happens because the pressure of the water concentrates on your chest and the temperature makes your heart beat faster, increasing your oxygen intake. But even if you don’t experience regular respiratory problems and you’re just going through a really bad flu, water could be very helpful. Hot water and its steam act as natural decongestants that clear your sinuses and chest, as well as moisturize your nasal passages. Overall, a hot bath can comfort you and smooth out symptoms of cold and flu.
- Relaxes Muscles and Joints After Exercise: Whenever you finish a particularly intense workout routine, you might feel tempted to take a cold shower to ease the heat and sweating or cool down. But actually, the smart thing to do would be to get your body on a hot bath right after exercise. Hot water can relieve tension and soothe the soreness of stiff muscles that have been overstimulated for extended periods of time. So, get in the tub and give your muscles a gentle massage to help them relax. Being underwater can also be very beneficial for people who need to take care of their joints. In fact, some therapies call for elderly to get in a hot bath and do some simple leg and arm movements, so their joints, muscles and bones can move around in a low impact environment.
- Balances your Hormonal Levels: Hot water can have an impact even in parts of your body you would have never guessed. Several studies conducted have discovered that being in warm water can make the pituitary gland release hormones such as adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH, responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition to this, warm water increases serotonin levels in the body, a chemical highly associated with happiness.
- Moisturizes Skin and Soothes Irritations: Since us humans are made up mostly out of water, it’s only natural that soaking up in a hot bath once in a while can bring us many benefits. Your pores will open up, allowing for a release of toxins and dirt, so you can cleanse without using any product or tool, just your hands. Warm water can also leave skin moist for longer periods of time, and it prevents it from getting cracked, irritated and scaly from dehydration. If you feel like you need a little extra, you can always add some oils or salts to increase the beneficial effects on your skin.
- Reduces Chronic Pains: People who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic conditions will know the journey that it can be to live with pain that never goes away. In these cases, a hot bath can help so much that there’s even a form of hydrotherapy where the patient is submerged in hot water, and the temperature and the pressure of the water provides a gentle relief to their spine. Being immersed in hot water can also reduce inflammation and send calming signals to the nervous system, lowering levels of stress and anxiety in the body caused by physical conditions. All of this translates into a significant reduction of chronic pain and discomfort.
- Regulates your Body Temperature: Believe it or not, hot water has the ability to bring your body back to a normal temperature whether you’re too cold or too hot. Evidence shows that a hot bath can regulate the body’s inner temperature. And it doesn’t matter if you do it at home or on a natural body of water like thermal pools, the health benefits this has are far more than the side effects. So whenever you get home from a winter day and you can’t even feel your toes, hop into your bathtub and warm up, or if it’s a hot summer day and you need to cool down, get a warm bath and you’ll get out feeling fresh and ready to move on with your day.
- Improves Immune System Defenses: Getting a hot bath can get you prepared to fight certain diseases better. Several studies indicate that a body in higher temperatures has the ability to make immune cells work better. Getting regular hot baths can improve the immune system so much that, whenever you feel like you’re about to get sick, a quick bath could make it all better. In addition to this, taking hot baths can kill harmful bacteria and protect you from future infections.
- Relieves Headaches: This is probably one of the most important benefits of taking hot baths, since it’s something everyone has struggled with at least once in their lifetime. It is said that most types of headaches are caused by the narrowing of blood vessels in the head or the area that surrounds it. When you immerse yourself in your bathtub, the hot water can have a positive effect on blood vessels, because their pressure is significantly reduced. You can also add some scents to your bath and increase your chances of shaking out that headache.
- Helps you Sleep Better: If you’ve been experiencing several nights of insomnia or you wake up feeling like you didn’t rest at all, you might want to add a bath to your nighttime routine. Hot water helps relax the body and get it ready for bedtime. At the end of the day it’s normal that your body is all tensed up, so a hot bath can help relax the muscles and the high temperature can even relax your heart rate and put you in a more calm state of mind, the ideal one to sleep. Put some relaxing music to increase the effects but make sure not to fall asleep on the bathtub!
- Improve your Mood: We saved this benefit for last because it’s the most amazing one. Although we couldn’t say exactly why, a hot bath can instantly boost someone’s mood. It might have something to do with the fact that hot water makes the body produce more serotonin, the happy hormone. Whatever the reason is, we can’t deny that, after a stressful day, a hot bath can make us feel comforted, confident and ready to move on with life.
Hot baths are much more than just a cleaning activity. They have the power of healing our body and even our minds in just 20 minutes of your day. So next time you feel like you need a little pick-me-up, don’t doubt and fill your bathtub with hot water, and get ready to feel like new again.