A hot bath can do wonders for the mind and body. But those wonders are not as widely known as they should be. So let’s dive in to the health benefits and see if a hot bath is exactly what you need to relax, distress and take care of your tired muscles.
In almost no place in the world is a hot bath as prevalent as the Scandinavian spas, which are now offered in different locations around the world. We went to visit the Scandinave Spa in Mont-Tremblant to test it out. First, drawing a hat bath or visiting a facility designated solely for hot baths is an experience and this very experience is an escape. A bath should be a peaceful time and it should rejuvenate and relax and provide an escape from the daily stresses of our everyday lives. And that’s exactly what the baths here do.
We can learn from the Scandinavians. First off – no cell phone. If you are drawing a bath at home, do not bring your cell phone in. Turn it to the ‘Do not Disturb’ setting and truly devote yourself to relaxing and unwinding.
Bath Safety First
Be careful of a wet floor. Walk slowly around the bath. Do not run. Alcohol consumption is strongly advised against. We know some reading this will strongly disagree otherwise, but a hot bath will dehydrate you and alcohol will further dehydrate you. Treat the hot bath as a spa opportunity and skip the alcohol.
A Hot Bath is Great for your Heart
This can be a bit confusing as a hot bath speeds up the heart rate. However, the heart is getting a healthy workout, similar to exercise, and speeding up the heart rate improves blood flow and circulation. Consult with your doctor on this one, in particular if you have had heart problems or a pre-existing heart condition.
Bathing Naturally Moisturizes the Skin
Our skin tends to thin as we grow older and requires additional upkeep and maintenance. Warm water prevents our skin from drying out and has been known to reduce dryness and irritation. Add some honey to a lukewarm bath and soak for 20 minutes to help sooth dry skin.
Bathing Naturally Cleans the Skin
Bathing can have added benefits over a shower as soaking in water can open our pores allowing us to scrub below the preliminary skin line and remove dirt. And there are lot of toxins living below the skin that we need to clean and remove. As the Huffington Post says, “Toxins that are found in the skin include, but are not limited to: benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, styrene, deodorant, car exhaust, hydrocarbons, smog, household chemicals, perfumes, cosmetics, heavy metals including mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, lead, and nickel, dust mites, dust mite droppings, fungus, mold, bacteria, virus, parasites, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and hormones. It makes sense to rid the body of these elements as regularly as possible, in order to manage the toxic load we all carry to varying degrees.”
A Warm Bath can Lower Blood Pressure
As the heart rate speeds up, the heart works to improve circulation and blood flow as we noted above. A hot bath can open and relax the walls of the blood vessels in a process known as vasodilation. Essentially the blood vessels are widened. The dilatation of the blood vessels can lead to lower blood pressure.
Bathing can Help with our Sleep
Hot water can relax us in a natural, drug-free way. The muscles are instantly relaxed in the hot water. As Lifehack says, ‘Stretching and moving in water has been shown to be low impact on the joints, muscles and bones, but very effective in providing an adequate workout through resistance. There is also less chance of injury for people who are at risk of falls, which makes aquatic exercise ideal for the elderly. Taking a spa can alleviate some of the discomfort of conditions such as osteoarthritis, without any adverse effects or exacerbation of symptoms.” There is a great reason that athletes have long used warm water and bathes to expedite their recoveries from muscle fatigue and soreness. We too can adopt this technique into our daily regimens.
Escape your Daily Stress with a Hot Bath
You do not need to visit a spa to get the wonderful benefits of a hot bath. Here are some tips for drawing a nice bath at home:
First, make sure the tub is clean. We recommend that you use natural products as you will be bathing in the tub shortly. Do not use a scalding temperature. You want to feel warm. Again, be careful and do not burn yourself. Plan to stay in the bath for approximately 20 minutes to get the full effect. And most of all, use this time to relax, destress and enjoy yourself. Happy bathing!