When I was growing up in the UK, baths were by far the preferred method of personal hygiene nightly rituals. And studies show the Brits might be onto something. There are many benefits of having bath over a shower. Yes, the bath tends to use more water (it really depends on how long your showers are and how high you fill your tub), and yes, bathing can take longer, but there are some pretty significant upsides to the tub. Here are just five:
1. A Daily Bath Has Been Shown To Improve Your Mood
According to a study, bathing can improve “psychological wellness.” In a study of 80 participants who took a nightly bath for two weeks, mood improved and pessimism decreased. Researchers speculate that taking that quiet time to relax alone, in a warm environment provides a healthy time out from busy days.
2. Bathing Relaxes Your Muscles and Reduces Muscle Pain
A warm bath is like wrapping your whole body in a hot-pack, and it produces muscle relief. A cold bath, although much less relaxing (believe me, I’ve done it) is great for athletes who want to clear lactic acid after a hard workout. Alternating between hot and cold has also been suggested for athletes. Try alternating between one minute in a cold bath, then two in a hot bath, for a total of five times.
3. Before Bed, a Warm Bath Can Help You Sleep Better
Because a hot bath can relax you and also raise your body temperature, it can make it easier for you to feel sleepy, and to actually fall asleep easier at bedtime. The theory is that by heating your body up, there is a steeper drop in body temperature, which signals your body that it’s time to sleep.
4. Sitting In a Steaming Hot Bath Can Reduce Your Cold Symptoms
We’ve all heard that steam can open your breathing when you have a cold, so it makes sense that sitting in a steaming bath will help if you’re having trouble breathing because of nasal congestion. Consider using aromatherapy too. Eucalyptus and lavender both help.
5. If You Have Eczema or Arthritis, Considering Adding To Your Bath
For people with skin conditions, it’s been found that a bath with a very small amount of bleach (0.005 percent) may help alleviate the symptoms of eczema. And if you have arthritis or another inflammatory issue, adding epsom salts can provide relief.
And one more thing…
Massage therapists agree that having a bath just before a massage can relax muscles and warm them up, making them more receptive to massage, and increasing the benefits. If you don’t have time for a bath, trying taking a quick warm shower instead.