What’s better than a long hot shower after a hard and exhausting day at work? Perhaps soaking in hot water, or relaxing in the pool? Maybe even a sauna, or your favorite drink while enjoying in the Jacuzzi? Exactly, who doesn’t want that lifestyle. I know I do. With that in mind, let’s take a look at these 9 health benefits of soaking in hot water.
The reason why we all feel that burning sensation during or after a strong workout is because are muscles starts to fill up with lactic acid. One proven way to release all the excess lactic acid is to apply heat on our inflamed areas. And what’s a better solution than taking a hot bath? By doing so the heat helps improve blood flow, stimulate the cell movement and you help your sore muscles to relax and get rid of all that accumulated lactic acid. No more soreness.
It’s Good for your Heart
Several studies conducted have indicated that regular hot tubs and saunas can help prevent the risk of having a heart attack. By lowering your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate while boosting your nitric oxide levels, frequent soaking in hot water might be a healthier and safer alternative to doing cardio exercises. However keep in mind before making any judgment calls on your own, you should consult with your doctor. You can read more about the findings in this study.
Lowering Blood Pressure
We all know that exercising increases our body temperature and our blood pressure. Compared to soaking in hot water where we increase our body temperature as well, the benefit is that in the same time we can lower the blood pressure. The explanation is pretty simple, warm water opens up the walls of the blood vessels, which then allows better blood flow and circulation. All that movement helps lowering the blood pressure.
This is a no brainer, heat makes us feel sleepy. But what’s actually going on, is the heat itself or there’s something else going on? The thing is, when our body temperature raises, we don’t suddenly get a feeling to jump into bed, but actually when it cools off afterwards. When our body temperature slowly drops our heart rate slows down, which leads to lower blood circulation, slower breathing and metabolic rate, and suddenly you feel tired. All you can think of is throwing yourself into the bed. If insomnia is what you struggle with, give the hot water a chance, you won’t regret it.
Lung capacity and oxygen intake
In Finland for centuries, saunas has been used as for threatening respiratory diseases. The way they work is by increasing the air temperature which leads to opening the lungs and sinuses functions and capacities. Some studies shows that when we breathe in saunas or steam rooms the lung capacities can increase up to 10%. Increased oxygen intake is beneficial to your entire body, starting from the brain, reducing the stress level by relaxing your nerves and so on.
Cleans and moisturizes your skin
Hot water doesn’t opens up our pores, that’s a myth. However it helps our skin get rid of all the dirt, oils and the waste. Our skin can “breathe” easily, we sweat more and our skin naturally cleans itself. By sweating, it releases the moisture from the skin and we end up with a smoother skin. If you want to go scientific about it here’s a brief explanation “Steam can help loosen the sebum that builds up inside pores” (source). In short, pores do not have muscular attachment so there’s nothing to open or close. Mind that, the sweating is what matters and the hydration your skin gets from the hot steamy water. Soaking or hot bath is the way to cleanse and moisturize your skin.
Improving our blood circulation
As your heart rate increases, it pumps more blood to your entire body and that improves your blood circulation. That said, soaking in hot water doesn’t directly increases your blood circulation but indirectly. This helps your cells and organs to get all the necessary nutrients, especially our sore muscles, post workout. This helps your arteries, and your extremities have better oxygen distribution so your body recovers faster.
We all know that drinking plenty of water and keeping our body hydrated can help prevent and sometimes even treat headaches. But what about hot baths or soaking in hot water? The scientific explanation is straightforward, hot water decreases the pressure in your blood vessels, and high pressure is one of the reasons why you might be suffering from a headache at first place. On top of that, if we add the other benefits we discussed earlier, such as better oxidation, better heart rate and so on, it’s highly advisable to try this natural remedy and skip the painkiller once in a while.
By increasing the flood flow while relaxing your muscles, the nutrients are delivered to the most stubborn parts in your body and by doing so our body can get rid of the toxins, faster and easier. The same happens while sweating, be remove all the junk. One popular way to take this to the next level is to use epsom salt also known as magnesium sulfate. Our body can absorb all the magnesium and the sulfate which helps with the detox process. If hot bath is something you didn’t have in mind, just soaking your feet in water and using epsom salt is a great way to remove the toxins from your body.
Despite the fact that we need to drink water to stay alive, using the water externally more often is a great way to help our muscles and brain, and to some extent prevent several conditions such as oily skin, unnecessary headaches, get rid of the toxins faster and open up our lungs and sinuses while boosting the oxygen levels. Regardless of your favorite way of taking advantage of the hydrotherapy, the health benefits of the hot water never stop to surprise us.