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Why a Bath Can Be Healthier Than a Shower

Bath Benefits

The whole bubble bath craze doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon—and for good reason. Sure, there are the mental health perks of taking some self-care bath time for yourself. But there are some real physical benefits, too. In fact, science shows that baths can benefit everything from your blood pressure to your immune system.

So go ahead, get the water running, grab a magazine (like, I don't know, Shape maybe?) and cue up your fave chillout playlist...we'll catch you on the other side.

Bathing may have similar effects on your body as exercise.

Hear us out on this one: No, bathing can't replace your workout. But exercise physiologists found that it *will* have similar effects on your body afterward, due to the rise in body temperature. In one small study, researchers found that an hour-long bath burned approximately 140 calories in each person (which is about the same number of cals someone would burn during a half-hour walk). What's more, immersing all your limbs in the high heat can also help regulate your blood sugar.

It can help regulate your blood pressure.

Heat therapy, such as soaking in a tub for 20 minutes or so, can help stabilize blood pressure and contribute to overall better heart health by increasing and improving blood flow to and from the heart—another commonality with exercise. (Forest bathing, a deep-woods Japanese wellness ritual, can do the same, potentially reducing both blood pressure and cortisol, which will ultimately calm you from the inside out.)

Your mind will feel sharper after you get out.

Not only will your limbs feel less sore and more relaxed following a bath, but studies on balneotherapy, a type of mineral bathing, show that bathing can also help you experience less mental fatigue. You probably already know baths reduce stress, but hey, we're always down for a scientifically sound excuse to chill out. (Related: No, You Can't 'Detox' from an Epsom Salt Bath)

Baths can keep your immune health up.

Elevating your body temperature with a hot bath can actually boost your body's ability to fight infections and viruses. And if you're already sniffling from a cold or allergies, slipping into warm water can actually aid the flow of oxygen throughout your respiratory system.

Bathing could help you get a better night's sleep.

Simply making a routine out of rituals like relaxing in the tub at the end of a rough day has been reported to improve sleep quality, and baths get sleep bonus points for the stress-relieving perks we mentioned above.

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