It doesn't take a genius to know that slipping into a warm and pleasant bath (ideally complete with bubbles or an awesome bath bomb) is the height of relaxation. Hydrotherapy in the form of both hot and cold baths have been used for millenium to treat a variety of ailments, and many of these treatments actually have modern science backing them up.
If you need a reason to treat yourself to a decadent bubble bath, here are just a few reasons to hop in the tub for a night of relaxation.
It can help your heart
A recent study published just this year found that taking a warm bath every night can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by a significant margin. The risk for heart disease lowered by 28%, and the risk of stroke lowered by 26%.
Scientists don't yet know the reason for why it lowers risk for heart disease and stroke, but suspect it has to do with lowering blood pressure. What ever the reason, it gives you a valid reason for enjoying that luxurious bath bomb from Lush.
It may also help your breathing
Being immersed in water up to the neck puts pressure on your chest, causing you to have to work harder to breathe. This can actually help you improve your lung capacity and your oxygen intake. Different temperatures provide different benefits here. A warm bath can clear sinuses and make breathing easier, while a cold bath using temperatures found in natural bodies of water may reduce the risk of infection in those with COPD.
Benefits muscles, joints and bones
If you have sore joints or aching muscles, we all know how good a relaxing bath can feel on them. Spending time immersed in warm water can also help in other ways, helping you to gently stretch these muscles and reducing impact on sore joints.
Science backs this up once again. A 2013 study found that those who soaked in a whirlpool style tub daily for 8 weeks after an injury had significantly lower pain and stiffness compared to those who didn't. This was a reasonably large study with over 40 participants including a control group.
It reduces stress
Perhaps the major reason we take baths to begin with is because of how relaxing it is. A warm bath can help carry us away from our problems for a little bit, and can make the stress of living just a bit more bearable. Stress is responsible for many chronic diseases, and by finding ways to reduce it, you can boost your health indirectly in a remarkable number of ways.
The next time you feel guilty about your bubble bath habit, just remind yourself that it's good for your health. A warm bath can do a lot more for your body than just reduce your stress or give you a little “me time.” It can be good for your body in so many different ways.