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Why Hot Bath Could Be Good For Your Heart

By Janhavi Patel

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death across the world and researches have proved that 90% of these are preventable. Most of these are caused by the lifestyle of a person. It is caused by smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of physical activities, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, stress, anxiety, etc.

Cardiovascular diseases are treatable in their initial stages, but they are best prevented. The treatment also depends on the types of symptoms the patient shows.

hot bath benefits for health

A few ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases are more lifestyle oriented than medical - managing your weight with a healthy diet and physical activity, staying away from smoking and too much alcohol, reducing consumption of salt, and treating other medical conditions that could lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers in Japan have come up with an innovative way to prevent blockages of arteries by soaking or bathing in hot water.

After a long, hectic day at college or work, it feels good to just stand under a hot shower, feel the water relax your muscles, or soak in a hot water tub; just close your eyes and let it do its magic.

It's amazing how such small things can bring us so much happiness, along with health benefits. Bathing might just feel like an act of cleansing yourself every day, but it's more than that. A good hot soak can have surprising benefits on a human body.

Here are a few basic benefits of a hot water soak:

1. Cleansing The Skin
2. Brain And Nerve Health Improves
3. Helping Sleep Patterns
4. Losing Weight
5. Blood Circulation Improves

1. Cleansing The Skin:

This is but an obvious benefit. Hot water soaks not only cleanse your skin from the outside. It also helps to open the pores of your skin and removes deep set dirt and toxins, leaving you with fresh and supple skin.

2. Brain And Nerve Health Improves:

When you soak yourself in a hot bath, your nervous system relaxes, reducing pain and inflammation. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Helping Sleep Patterns:

Hot water soothes a tense body, i.e., the muscles of the body relax when you enter a hot bath. This relaxes you physically and mentally. Having a calm mind and body helps to sleep faster and better.

4. Losing Weight:

Patients suffering from diabetes have shown to lose 2.5 pounds of weight with a regular hot water bath. Soaking in a hot water bath reduces blood glucose and sugar levels. This helps them lose weight.

5. Blood Circulation Improves:

Dipping yourself in a hot water bath is like a light exercise for your body's blood vessels. This is because when you're inside a bath, pressure is being exerted by the water on the body resulting in an increase in capacity of the heart to pump blood. This means, your heart beats faster and is stronger when inside a bath. This improves circulation throughout the body.

Here's how it's beneficial for reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

A university in Japan conducted a study involving 850 men and women. The study recorded these individual's bath time, bath duration, number of baths and temperatures of water during bath for a period of five years.

In these five years, a health record of these individuals was maintained. The carotid artery was concentrated upon to check for hormone releases between its two layers that cause stiffening and hardening of arteries. The inference of this study was that having at least five hot water baths in a week can lower your risks of a stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.

"Water immersion is associated with increased volume of strokes, reduction of heart rate, an increase in cardiac output, and reduction of total peripheral vascular resistance," the study explained.

The idea here being, a dip in a hot bath reverses blood flow from the feet towards the heart. It also reduces high blood pressure. The hot water increases the body's core temperature, which is similar to the effect exercising has on the body. This is healthy because chances of any hardened or blocked arteries reduce, i.e., lesser fatty deposits, which is a risk factor for heart diseases.

It is important to understand though, that hot water baths cannot be an option for everyone. Especially, for people who suffer from low blood pressure, auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis or fainting spells. It might just worsen symptoms and do the opposite of what you intend it to do.

Also, this study was made without taking into consideration other factors that could have kept the heart of those individuals healthy. Habits like physical activities, stress reduction methods like meditating, etc., which might have been a reason for a healthy heart. Thus, it still remains debatable until further study whether a hot water soak is really a boon for the heart or not.

Some researchers have come up with opposing results where they believe that hot water baths and tubs should be totally avoided by heart patients.

They say that when a patient with a heart condition enters a hot water bath, there's a sudden rise in temperature and a slight pressure on the cardiovascular system, leading to an elevated heart rate. And this can prove fatal for someone who already has a condition of a reduced functioning of the heart, blocked arteries, and irregular heart rate.

If you have an existing heart condition, it's better to check with your doctor if you require medical attention to improve your condition before you dedicate 5 hours of your week to just bathing.

Hot water baths still do hold other benefits. And it's no harm to try out this method if you are health conscious and want to be on the prevention side than on the curing one.

It will not only help you relax after a full day of chaos, but it will improve your skin, blood pressure, sleep pattern, blood circulation, reduce headaches, balance your hormones, make you feel better about yourself, protect your nerves and muscles, optimize your body temperature.. My my.. the list is never ending.

Do you really need an excuse to find that rubber ducky, pour out the bubble bath and bath your woes away?

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    Read more about: heart health health diabetes obesity
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