Is there anything better than sinking into a hot bath after a long day? What if you found out that a bath does more than just help you relax?
Soaking in a bath is very relaxing, but it also can provide a number of other important health benefits.
If you need a reason to spend more time in the tub, keep reading to learn about the various health benefits of taking a bath.
1. Improved Mood
People who take a daily bath—and especially those who take a bath at the end of the day—tend to experience a more positive mood and greater levels of optimism than those who do not.
Researchers believe these improvements have to do with the warmth and temporary isolation that a bath provides.
It also seems that lying in a horizontal position is beneficial for improving one’s mood and relieving stress. The theory behind this is that being in a horizontal position, especially in the bathtub, mimics the conditions of the womb and provides people with a greater sense of security.
2. Smoother, Healthier Skin
Regular baths can also help soothe your skin if you suffer from conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
Baths promote moisture and slough off dead skin cells so that your skin is smoother and less irritated. They can also dampen the inflammatory response associated with autoimmune conditions, which, in turn, relieves pain and swelling.
Baths are especially helpful for skin conditions when you add ingredients like Epsom salts or other minerals. These products can actually alter the microbiome of your skin and balance out bacteria to keep your skin healthy and free from dryness or irritation.
3. Better Sleep
Taking a warm bath before bed can also help you enjoy better sleep. This is because your body experiences a decrease in temperature after you get out of the bathtub. This, in turn, promotes melatonin production and sends a signal that it’s time to start winding down for the night.
Since soaking in the tub can also help you relax, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep faster after a bath since you won’t be as wound up or tense from your daytime activities.
The only caveat is to make sure that the water is not too hot. If you’re overheated before bed, you could end up feeling more alert and on edge, which isn’t conducive to a peaceful night’s rest.
4. Less Muscle and Joint Pain
Warm baths are great for relieving joint pain and stiffness. They help promote healthy blood circulation, which allows oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to reach your muscles and joints.
Whether you struggle with arthritis or fibromyalgia or are just feeling sore from a tough workout, a warm bath can help you feel much more comfortable.
5. Improved Respiratory Health
Immersing yourself in warm water can also help improve your lung capacity and your ability to take in oxygen. The key is to make sure that the water goes up past your chest and that your head is completely out of the water.
Soaking in warm water causes your heart to beat a bit faster. This improves your oxygen uptake and helps you breathe more deeply.
The steam from a warm bath can also clear your sinuses and relieve chest congestion in people who have colds or allergies.
Supplies You Need for the Most Beneficial Bath
All you really need to start experiencing these five benefits of taking a bath is a bathtub and running water. But if you want to make your bath a little more luxurious and relaxing, there are a few supplies you might want to consider investing in, including the following:
- A slip-resistant bath step: If you have poor balance or mobility and are worried about slipping, a bath step can help you get in and out of the tub safely.
- Epsom or mineral salts: Epsom salts and other mineral salts can provide a nice, relaxing feel to your bath, and they may also help reduce stiffness and muscle soreness.
- Essential oils: Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are great to add to your bath water for a relaxing scent. Peppermint can also help relieve joint pain, and eucalyptus can clear sinuses for better breathing.
- Bath pillow: If you have a hard time getting comfortable in the bathtub, a bath pillow can give your neck some extra support so you can extend the duration of your soak and enjoy more benefits.