The Benefits of Baths

Or, Why You Should Take More Baths.

Bathing has a looong history, and us human folk have been enjoying it all along. However, ancient civilizations seemed much more prone to indulge in the relaxing, sometimes social, habit than we are.

Perhaps there was more leisure time available without the 40+ hour work week, television and internet. People weren’t constantly engaged in some other, seemingly more important activity to put off their bathing ritual. But whether it’s plunging into cool water after hitting the sauna, swimming in the ocean or filling up the tub at home, baths serve us in more ways than just the relaxing, quiet, me-time we’ve come to crave.

Reduce Pain and Muscle Aches

Cramps included!

Similar to using a heating pad or Icy-Hot and other “heating” pain relief creams, a hot bath may be just the ticket to squelching aches and pains. A cool bath, on the other hand, can help reduce the lactic acid build-up to speed recovery time following intense work-outs.

You can also ease chronic pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other inflammatory-induced conditions by soaking in a salt bath (use Epsom or your favorite natural salt). Adding salt reduces swelling and has been used since Ancient Greece to relieve pain.

Heart and Digestive Health

Although a piping hot bath isn’t recommended and can add more strain to the heart, a warm, soothing temperature increases heart rate which can improve blood circulation throughout the body. It may also help lower blood pressure and keep your heart functioning well. The improved circulation will also aid with proper digestion!

Alleviate Cold Symptoms

As we head into cooler months, its bound to happen: cold and flu season.

Warms baths do more than improve blood flow, they also allow the blood to become more oxygenated as you relax and breathe deeply, inhaling steam. This can aid in ridding your body of illness-causing bacteria, clear sinus and chest congestion while, also, boosting immunity.

Pamper Your Skin

Exposure to water and steam can be cleansing and moisturizing for the entire body. Hot or warm water opens our pores and induces sweating, allowing the body to naturally cleanse itself. Plus, the steam and contact with water is a great way to hydrate skin and hair!

In a recent study published in Temperature, researchers found that an hour-long soak in a hot bath resulted in similar effects as an hour of moderate exercise. For anyone unable to exercise regularly or with certain chronic illnesses, such as type II diabetes or chronic inflammation, this could be huge!

Featured image by StockSnap/Pixabay.