We all know that baths are amazing for self-care but who knew they have profound health benefits! There are so many ways to enjoy a bath but I’m just going to focus on 3 types. Hot, Epsom salt and cold. Here are all of the amazing health benefits of baths.
This is probably the most popular category. Everyone loves to simply fill a tub with hot water and soak. It feels amazing! Often people use hot baths to ease sore muscles and help them fall asleep faster. These are both common benefits of hot baths. But there are so many more health benefits you won’t believe!
Hot baths can actually be as beneficial to your health as a gentle work out. Partly because, they effectively reduce inflammation. Hot baths trigger mild inflammation in the body (like exercise). Causing the body to compensate by producing natural anti-inflammatories. This is probably why hot baths help with muscle soreness and fatigue. People with chronic internal inflammation would benefit from regular baths too. Chronic inflammation is often caused by aging, diet, environmental toxins and stress. It leads to chronic illness and poor daily function. This makes it worthwhile to take a bath all on its own!
Blood pressure and blood glucose levels
Anyone want to lower blood pressure and control blood sugar? Try a bath! Seriously, hot baths cause an increase of nitric oxide which is thought to improve your body’s glucose intake thereby lowering blood sugar. It also helps to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiac function.
Some other common health benefits of hot baths include improved respiratory and immune function and increased serotonin levels. And, don’t dismiss the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Sleep quality is now the number 2 factor in weight loss and maintenance following nutrition. It is also extremely impactful to overall health.
Your simple hot bath is doing so much for your health you really shouldn’t skip it. To add extra benefits though simply toss in Epsom salt!
Epsom Salt Baths
If you add Epsom salt to your bath you get all of the benefits of a hot water bath and then some. Epsom salt kick that bath into high gear and provide additional benefits. They are inexpensive and easy to find! Head to your nearest supermarket or drug store. You will find them by all of the other bath products for just a few dollars. You simply add about a cup to your bath while the water is running. Here are the extra perks you get from adding Epsom salt to your bath.
Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body. And, unfortunately most people aren’t getting enough. When you have a Magnesium deficiency you may notice muscle cramps and twitching, anxiety, fatigue and muscle weakness. Long term magnesium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, asthma and even delirium or coma.
When dissolved in hot water, Epsom salt breaks down into smaller particles, magnesium and sulfate. It is believed that magnesium is most readily absorbed by the skin. Therefore, taking Epsom salt baths increases magnesium levels in the body. This is important because it is now very difficult to get enough magnesium in the diet. Further, the magnesium found in most supplements doesn’t withstand the digestive system well. A simple way to get more magnesium is to soak in a hot Epsom salt bath.
Detox and other benefits
Not only will you be relaxing and absorbing magnesium but you will also be detoxing. Good stuff in, bad stuff out! Epsom salt helps flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells. All of the sweating you’re doing eliminates them from your body.
Speaking of elimination, Epsom salt baths also help regulate digestion and can resolve constipation by balancing the amount of water in the colon.
Some other benefits include, easing and preventing migraine headaches. Alleviating arthritis pain and swelling and improving pain caused by Fibromyalgia. Bruises, sprains and ingrown toenails also improve with a soak. And Epsom salt baths even help treat sunburn and Psoriasis. Not to mention it generally improves skin texture and condition.
Pro-Tip: Add essential oils
Adding a bit of Epsom salt kicks up the health benefits of your bath tremendously. But if you add in some essential oils you get all of those benefits as well. Many essential oils boast extra health benefits. They can help with everything from relaxation, and improved respiration to memory improvement and illness prevention.
I like to add a few drops of essential oils to my bath salts before pouring them in. This prevents the oil from getting directly on the tub and making it slippery. And it also makes the oil mix better in the water. For 1 cup of bath salts I typically use around 15 drops of oil. Feel free to mix and match oils to create your own personal blend!
We’ve all seen movies and tv shows where elite athletes submerge themselves in ice water. Well, I’m not suggesting going all the way to ice water. But, if you’re feeling daring or you have a condition that would benefit, try out a cold bath, around 60. This one isn’t a typical favorite but its benefits make it worth trying.
Cold baths help with muscle recovery after a intense work out They also relieve discomfort. Dipping into a cold bath limits inflammatory response. Also, in future workouts you may also notice improved explosive movement and reaction time. The improvements in reaction time are caused by central nervous system benefits.
When taking cold baths you train your vagus nerve as well. And it becomes less sensitive to stress. This helps prevent chronic stress responses later which improves overall health. You also produce more neurotransmitters like norepinephrine which makes you feel AMAZING and sleep SO soundly!
Disease prevention and symptom improvement
Disease specific benefits include a decreased risk of infection in people with COPD. Improvement in ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) symptoms. And cold baths improve hormone levels which can help with fertility issues and balance cortisol levels. Cold baths also improve overall immune function. This helps to prevent disease and prevent or shorten illness.
Disease specicific benefits include a decreased risk of infection in people with COPD. Improvement in ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) symptoms. And cold baths improve hormone levels which can help with fertility issues and balance cortisol levels. Cold baths also improve overall immune function. This helps to prevent disease and prevent or shorten illness.
Baths are more than self care
We all know that self-care is important and we’re all trying to get it in. But, we often neglect it because of time shortages. While self-care is part of a good, healthy happy life, it is clear that baths in particular are imperative. Far from indulgent, they are the key to good overall health and wellness!
So, what are you waiting for!!! Go take a bath!
Aside from baths what is your favorite self care ritual? If you use essential oils, what are your favorites for bath time?
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