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The Many Health Benefits of Taking a Hot Bath

 You know, sometimes it's amazing how much we benefit from such little things. Taking a good soak in a hot bath is one of these things. Soaking in hot water is more powerful than you might think. In fact, there are quite a few definite health benefits to be gained. A good steamy bath has some surprising effects on the human body. Keep reading to find out all about them!

 

 
1. Improving Your Blood Circulation
bathing,
Dipping the body into hot water to the neck is kind of an exercise for your blood vessels. This is because water creates physical pressure on the body which increases the capacity of our heart. In other words, when we're immersed in water, the heart works faster and stronger. This is not a massive undertaking, more like a light exercise. A few dips a week is an excellent workout for your heart.
2. Helping You Fall Asleep
bathing,
Hot water relaxes the body and better prepares us for falling asleep. When a tense body enters a warm bath, the hot water increases the body temperature and relaxes the muscles. Relaxing the muscles not only soothes us physically, but also mentally, and many of us need that peace of mind at the end of the day. That said, be attentive to your body - don't fall asleep in the bath and limit your stay to no more than 20 minutes.
3. Staying in Shape
bathing,
Over-stretched muscles, small sports injuries, and even joint pain can be relieved with a nice hot bath, which is the perfect ending to physical activity.
4. Lowering Your Blood Pressure
bathing,
A recent study has shown that soaking in a hot bath can lower your blood pressure. This is a great system for those with heart conditions who have to watch out for spikes in their blood pressure. If you do have a heart condition, then first your should consult your doctor, because a hot bath will also raise the rate of your heartbeat. If they say it's okay, then it's a great way of bringing down your blood pressure.
5. Losing Weight
bathing,
Another study has indicated that people who suffer from diabetes and soak in a hot tub on a regular basis are able to reduce their levels of sugar and glucose in the blood. The study found that soaking in a hot bath for about 20-30 minutes, 6 days a week, made participants lose almost 2.5 pounds (2 kilos) a month as compared to the control group.
 
6. Cleaning the Skin
bathing,
While it is true that a shower is cleaner than a bath, a good soak in hot water after a shower can open up the pores in our skin, and if the water is clean then it can come in and wash some of the dirt and toxins from our skin. The result is fresher and cleaner skin.
7. Reducing Headaches
bathing,
Most types of headaches are caused by the narrowing of blood vessels in the head. The positive effect of the hot water on our blood vessels can be used to alleviate the pressure on those blood vessels and cure our headache.
8. Feeling Better About Yourself
bathing,
Life is full of stressful events, and a hot bath can be that shoulder you need to cry on. Take a good soak and try to relax, as it's known that when we feel better physically, we get more confident in ourselves, more convinced we are up to the challenges ahead. A hot tub is a great way to reduce daily anxiety as well. Very few of us are aware of just how much the body's physical state increases our levels of perceived anxiety.
9. Helping Your Cough and Flu Symptoms
bathing,
The steam of a hot bath can dry out the mucus accumulating in our throat, which is one of the most common reasons for ongoing coughing. In addition, a hot bath can also alleviate symptoms of the flu. Taking a 10-15 minute hot-soak-break can really help you feel better while your body is getting rid of the disease. 
10. Moisturizing Your Skin
bathing,

We may not like the wrinkled skin we get after a hot bath, but it actually has a good effect on it. The warm water leaves the skin moist for longer, and prevents it from drying up and getting those little cracks that often appear when it's dry.

11. Breathing Becomes Easier

deep breathing

Bathing has been found to exert a positive influence on your oxygen intake and lung capacity. This is because the combination of warm water and water pressure makes your heart beat faster, thereby increasing oxygen uptake. The steam from a hot bath will also help to clear your chest and sinuses.

12. Balancing Your Hormones

woman bathing in warm water

Taking a hot bath can balance out your serotonin levels, which will lead to you becoming happier and feeling more satisfied with life. Alternatively, if you bathe in cooler water, you'll be able to balance out other hormones, such as cortisol, beta-endorphin, and ACTH, which could help deal with fertility issues or conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.

13. Boosting Your Brain and Nerve Health

brain health

Being submerged in water calms your nervous system, while reducing inflammation and pain. Stress and anxiety levels also get significantly reduced, which can go a long way towards improving your mood. The water's temperature and pressure will also gently relieve the spine of any discomfort or pain, and has been found to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

14. Protecting Your Bones, Muscles and Joints

senior man jogging on highway

Taking a warm bath will work wonders for your joints, muscles, and even bones. In fact, the water's warm temperature helps to relieve the effects of conditions like osteoarthritis, without causing an exacerbation of symptoms or any other adverse effects.

15. Improving Your Gastrointestinal Health

woman with a stomach ache

A warm bath is perfect for dealing with the pain caused by anal fissures or hemorrhoids. This is because a bath's warm temperature causes the anal sphincter to relax, which can help heal the wounds left after surgery. Warm baths have also been found to aid digestion and lower blood sugar levels, which is very useful for diabetic people who find it hard to maintain a healthy weight.

16. Optimizing Your Body Temperature

woman bathing in warm water

There isn't a faster or more enjoyable way to optimize your body temperature than with a relaxing bath. On cold days, a nice hot bath or a trip to the spa is bound to warm you up from the inside and outside, and leave you feeling fabulous!

17. Improving Urinary Tract Health

woman drinking coffee in bath

While bathing regularly may increase the risk of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI), especially for repeat sufferers, having a warm bath actually helps the internal urethral sphincter to relax. This decreases the pain felt after surgery, and can significantly decrease recovery time.

18. Quickening the Natural Birthing Process

pregnant woman in bath

It is well known that immersing women in a warm bath during the first stages of labor can minimize both pain and stress. This will allow them to better focus on progressing labor and ultimately giving birth. In some cultures, new mothers bathe with their newborns in water mixed with essential oils and herbs to help speed up physical and mental healing.
 

A FEW IMPORTANT NOTES:
Despite all the advantages, a regular soak in a hot bath is not recommended for everyone, therefore, make sure that:
* You don't soak for more than 15-20 minutes each time.
* If you have a heart condition, consult with your doctor about taking hot baths.
* You take something cold to drink with you because we tend to sweat in a hot bath and can get dehydrated.
* You're not pregnant! Pregnant women are not advised to take hot baths.

 

Other than that - HAPPY SOAKING!

Check out how to make your own DIY steamy hot detox bath!

Images courtesy of Depositphotospixabay, and pexels

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