This Is Why We Should Take More Baths
When it comes to supplementing our fitness regimes, the power of water isn't contended. Whether it’s the use of cryotherapy or a warm epsom soak to alleviate muscle soreness, the benefits are clear. When it comes to general health and in particular mental wellbeing, the advantages might not be so obvious. Although it might seem like a mundane part of everyday life, bathing is in fact one of the most powerful ways to de stress, heal and maintain healthy brain function that we have at our disposal.
In everyday life, our circadian rhythms tell us when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep. As part of this, our core body temperature gently fluctuates, rising slightly in the day and dropping again at night-time. If you’re someone who’s prone to depression and anxiety, this temperature rhythm can often be flat or out of sync. Bathing can be a potent way of helping to kick this rhythm into a more normal tempo, as it creates an increase in core body temperature. Better synchronicity of the body clock will also aid better sleep habits and appetite, both of which contribute hugely to better wellbeing.
As well as affecting our biological rhythms, a warm bath can calm our nervous system by decreasing stress hormones like cortisol and increasing serotonin and endorphins, two of the neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness.
A warm bath also aids better blood flow through the body, oxygenating our blood, improving our lung capacity and helping us to breathe deeper and easier. Steam produced by a warm bath can also benefit the chest and sinuses, while submerging yourself in soothing warm water itself can help reduce inflammation. When it comes to heart health, better blood flow can have a significant impact, as it causes your heart to beat faster and improves circulation. Although anyone with a pre-existing heart condition should steer clear of very hot baths, warm bathing water can help reduce the viscosity of blood and help it to flow better around the body.