Bath vs. shower, it’s a long running debate. The majority of us opt for a shower because it’s more convenient and certainly a time saver in the mornings. But having a regular bath does has some incredible health benefits to it. If the morning isn’t convenient, it’s for sure a great way to relax at the end of the day, so we share 6 reasons (excuses if you like) why you should take a regular bath.
1. Bathing can help us fall to sleep
We touched on this before in our top tips for a better night’s sleep feature some months back. Sitting in a bath raises our blood temperature which in turn aids in muscle relaxation. Although raising our body temperature isn’t going to completely send you to sleep (it’s also a bit like a workout for the body), when you step out of the bath your body goes into rapid cool-down mode, this is where sleepiness takes most effect. So if you’ve been struggling to get your 8 hours recently, hop into a warm bath 1 hour before your desired sleep time, soak for 20 minutes and use the remainder of the time to relax with a good book whilst your body takes care of the rest.
2. It’s a perfect excuse to shut-off for half an hour
Following on from the above, having a bath is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness which is proven to alleviate stress and anxiety. With such chaotic schedules, it’s often pretty difficult to find ANY alone time. Bathing is a perfect excuse to do just that.
The definition of mindfulness is being conscious of the present moment by acknowledging your thoughts (though attempting to banish them), feelings and bodily sensations. So use the time in the bath to focus on your breathing- by taking deep breaths through your nose and expelling all air out through your mouth, and as and when thoughts crop up, push them to one side and re-focus on your breathing efforts, paying particular attention to how your body feels in the moment.
3. It’s a great opportunity for a pamper
The hot water will open up the pores on your skin so is just a great opportunity to have a really good cleansing ritual. Open pores allow your body the opportunity to rid itself of dirt, built up product and toxins. It’s also a perfect excuse to use all those products you’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t found the time. So get the exfoliation and masks out and just have a good ole pamper!
4. It helps with cold and flu
If you’ve been feeling under the weather, a hot bath can aid your body in ridding it from your system. Add a couple of handfuls of Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak for around 20 minutes.
The magnesium sulphate in the salts will absorb into your body through the skin and aid in detoxification, re-hydration and aid in muscle relaxation. What’s more, as bathing in hot water causes you to have a rise in temperature, this will lead to sweating, further ridding the virus from your system.
5. It’s a work out for the heart
Not only does bathing increase your temperature (I might have mentioned that a few times already) but it also increases your heart rate. So your blood vessels will be working extra time to get the blood pumped around your body. You may think you’d want to avoid this but it’s just like cardiovascular exercise and really good for keeping your heart healthy and strong. Recent studies suggest that a daily soak could reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke!
6. If you slack on stretching after a workout, this is as good as
Many people focus on building muscle but it’s just as important to incorporate stretching into your workout as it is cardiovascular and strength building. If you don’t like Pilates or yoga, and only do minimal stretching before and after working out, than a bath is definitely something you should be doing. As highlighted earlier, hot baths are brilliant for relaxing muscles and ridding yourself of aches and pains- it’ll make a huge difference.