Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about the surprising health benefits of bathing. Soaking in a warm tub doesn’t just feel good. Bath time can provide a wide variety of mental and physical health benefits.
We all know how good it feels to soak in a nice warm tub – especially after a long day – but did you know that there are several health benefits to taking a soak? Whether you’re a bath lover who loves a long soak to unwind after a long day or a bath hater who hates the water to the point of avoiding it at all costs, there are many health benefits to taking a warm bath.
If you’ve taken a warm bath or shower recently (which I hope you have), you’ve most likely noticed the effects it has on your mood and energy levels. There’s a reason most people associate bathing with relaxation and calmness: a warm bath or shower stimulates the endocrine system and increases blood circulation. These benefits won’t only help you feel refreshed and relaxed, research is proving that a warm bath can also positively influence weight loss and fitness.
For many people, the physical and mental health benefits of taking a warm bath can’t be measured in pounds or inches. It’s the “feel good” factor that makes it so hard to resist the urge to jump into a warm and soothing bath. The health benefits of a warm bath can range from relieving stress and enhancing your energy, to increasing feelings of well-being and improving your sleep cycle.
Sure, doctors in ancient Rome may have overestimated the therapeutic powers of the water cure. Regardless of what Hippocrates said, you probably don’t want to rely on a bath to cure pneumonia, but you can still find relief for less serious ailments. Just ensure you rinse off completely, dry your skin gently, and get out of the tub after about 10 to 15 minutes to avoid dry skin. Prepare to unwind with plain warm water or fancy bombs and salts. Learn more about how to enjoy the medicinal value of bathing.
Physical Health Benefits of Bathing
1. Boost circulation.
Hydrotherapy increases blood flow and may strengthen your immune system. To try it at home, splash yourself with cold water while sitting in a warm tub.
2. Pamper your feet.
If you’re short on time or conserving water, you can still get your feet wet. Fill a basin with warm water and add a few drops of peppermint oil.
3. Soothe your skin.
Experiment with bath products and natural ingredients known to stop itching, treat sunburn, or moisturize your skin. If you sat too long in the sun, dip into cool water with two cups of vinegar. Try cornstarch or milk for dry skin.
4. Reduce congestion.
Steam is a natural antidote for congestion when you have allergies or a cold. If breathing in a steamy bathroom isn’t enough, wrap a towel around your head and lower it over a bowl of hot water to help break up and loosen mucus. Eucalyptus oil or mustard powder can help the process too.
5. Lower a fever.
If you’re running a fever, you may be able to cool off with a sponge bath. Use warm water because cold water or alcohol can make your temperature drop too quickly.
6. Banish body aches.
Did you overdo it at the gym? Add a cup or two of Epsom salts to your bathwater to shrink inflamed tissues and relieve soreness.
7. Give birth.
What if you’re expecting? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that birthing pools might have some benefits during the first stage of labor. Advocates claim warm water can reduce pain and accelerate labor.
Mental Health Benefits of Bathing
1. Fight depression.
Immersing yourself in warm water raises serotonin and endorphin levels. Those are two of the main brain chemicals associated with happiness and wellbeing.
2. Relieve stress.
Soaking away tension may be the first thing that comes to mind. Dim the lights, turn off your phone, and slather yourself with a fragrant moisturizer afterwards.
3. Continue learning.
Prop your head on a bath pillow and read a book or listen to a lecture on audiotape. Acquiring knowledge and insights can sharpen your thinking and may even protect you from certain forms of dementia.
4. Sleep better.
Warming up in the bathtub before bed raises your core temperature. When you start to cool off, your body will produce melatonin that makes you feel sleepy. That good night’s rest is good for your mind and body.
5. Feel connected.
Psychologists at Yale found some evidence that loneliness makes us bathe more because our brains associate physical warmth with the affection we may be missing. Try taking a bath while you’re working on your relationships.
6. Make minor adjustments.
Add essential oils into the mix for whatever results you want. For example, chamomile tends to be calming while rosemary stimulates memory.
Enhance your overall wellbeing while you clean up. Hop into the tub to enjoy some refreshment and healing.
Bathing may improve your health in a number of ways. Aside from being generally comforting, bathing is a simple and effective way to keep your body and mind healthy and strong.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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