Why You Should Take a Hot Bath More Often (If You're Not Already)
In Japanese culture, taking a bath is more than just... taking a bath. A hot bath, specifically, has been the choice for the Japanese which are known to be healthier and have a better quality of life. But, are there links to living longer and a warm soak?
A study, published in the journal Heart, found that a hot bath has benefits for your heart. If you ask us, that's already enough reason to take a relaxing bath. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Tokyo City University professor and study author Shinya Hayasaka said: "Soaking in hot water causes the arteries to relax and expand, boosting circulation."
He continues, "The blood brings oxygen and nutrition to all the cells in your body—as many as 37 trillion, by some estimates— and carries away carbon dioxide and other waste products. It is this boost to the circulation that is responsible for the restorative feeling you get when you soak in the bath, as if the accumulated fatigue of the day is floating away on a cloud of steam."
Hayasaka started the study after a nurse asked him about the safety of an elderly patient who often had high blood pressure taking a bath. He published his first study in 1991 with a focus on elderly people, and followed up in November on the benefits of a daily warm soak.
Data from 30,000 participants over a period of 20 years were studied to come up with the results. They were asked if they took a lukewarm, warm, or hot bath. 72 percent of those involved answered that they took a bath almost every day. From the data, the authors found that taking a bath twice a week lowered the risk for cardiovascular disease by 28 percent. Plus, it also decreased the risk for stroke by 26 percent.
All from a good, relaxing hot bath. Sign us up.