It’s been a long day and you can’t wait to unwind by slipping down into a blissful warm bath. But did you know that the benefits of having a bath go well beyond that first “ahhh” of happiness as you lie back?
Taking a bath is good for you in a broad range of ways – from helping with muscle recovery post-exercise to nourishing your skin. So, if you need more reasons to allow bath time to beckon you then read on and dive in!
It’s nothing new
We’re certainly not the first generation to appreciate the wonders of bathing. The Romans were famous for their bathing and it’s from here that spa culture has grown and grown. However, you don’t have to go to the spa to get hot bath benefits. You can simply use your own tub and enjoy the privacy!
As time goes on, we are learning more and more about the benefits of having a bath and hydrotherapy. Using hot and cold water in different ways is bedded into many cultures, particularly in Scandinavia as well as Japan.
So, what are these benefits and are baths good for muscle recovery?
Hot bath benefits
1. Soothing and healing sore muscles
It can get a little confusing when it comes to exercise and bathing. There’s no doubt that bathing and sore muscles are a winning combo that can help, but it all comes down to temperature.
The trick is to use cool or cold water in your bath immediately after exercise to reduce inflammation and prevent soreness. However, if you’ve got tight muscles, or sore muscles a bit later, then a hot bath is what you need. This is because the heat increases the blood flow and aids healing.
Furthermore, there are many hot bath benefits for muscles in terms of increasing connective tissue elasticity and aiding flexibility. What’s more, moving gently in warmer water will have less impact on your joints but can help build strength. For example, if you have sore ankles, you can try rotating these gently in the water.
In short, baths are good for muscle recovery, so make it part of your routine!
Pop in some bath salts like our luxurious natural bath salts made from a trio of salts; sea salt, Epsom salt and Himalayan pink salt to soothe your skin and help calm the mind and relax the body. They also have lots of health benefits like magnesium from Epsom salt which helps with aching muscles.
2. Cleanse, moisturise and care for your skin
A warm bath is an excellent way of cleansing your skin, but it’s also fantastic for moisturising and caring for your skin, with a little know-how.
The trick is to use bath salts to combat any drying concerns associated with a regular bath. Soaking in a bath with added bath salts allows your skin to benefit from hydration while also soaking up naturally occurring minerals which help protect and heal our skin. Indeed, there is research emerging which shows that bath salts promote cellular function, healing and repair. The pH level of our skin is restored, allowing its self-revival process to work optimally.
Having a bath with bath salts can particularly help those with dry and itchy skin, including those with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It may even help prevent and treat bacterial and fungal problems. For extra nourishment, use a natural and hydrating body cream after a bath to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and supple.
3. Relaxation, stress relief and rejuvenation
We all need ways to relax and unwind. One of the best hot bath benefits is that it’s easy to do, low cost and available at home! We can assure you it goes well beyond that big “ahh” as you get in too, or even the chance to have some peace and quiet to yourself.
Indeed, there are tonnes of fascinating studies on the well-being benefits of having a bath. Some of these studies have revealed that having a bath actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system – this is the process at the heart of relaxation and combating stress. In short, a warm bath can actually help to reduce anxiety and lower stress levels.
There are even studies which show that having a bath can improve your mood, alleviating some of the symptoms of depression to the same level as physical exercise can.
4. Better sleep
Closely linked to the point above about stress relief and benefits for the mind, taking warm or hot baths can even help you to sleep better. Better sleep also improves your mood.
A warm bath can help you to sleep better as the hot water helps to regulate your circadian rhythms. It also helps to regulate and lower your body temperature afterwards, needed for sleep. A regular evening bath can help to establish a routine that lulls you into sleepiness so that you can nod off easily.
A warm bath in the evening could be your ideal sleep aid. If you can, have a bath slightly earlier in the evening, around 90 minutes before you want to fall asleep.
5. Breathe well for good health
Baths are excellent for helping you to breathe better. Bathing with your chest underwater can help you to improve your lung capacity and ensure you breathe in more oxygen. It’s both the warm water and the pressure of the water on your chest that matter here. There’s also the extra bonus of clear sinuses from the steamy water.
This process of increased oxygen intake, combined with the warmth making your blood circulation better, means that your immune system gets a nice boost. So, whether you’re recovering from a cold or just want to remain healthy, a hot bath is good for your immune health.
There are so many more reasons why taking a bath is good for your whole body and mind. From reducing inflammation to balancing your hormones, a bath is a ritual that comes with many good effects.