The Jakarta Post
A good soak in warm water is something that everyone can enjoy, although we are more likely to shower than spend the time to take a bath. There are, however, many positive effects of bathing in warm water. (Shutterstock/ImageFlow)
A good soak in warm water is something that everyone can enjoy, although we are more likely to shower than spend the time to take a bath. There are, however, many positive effects of bathing in warm water.
While taking a bath means using more water than the usual shower, a study mentioned by The Guardian concludes that warm baths could lift your mood in ways that are more effective than physical exercise.
The theory is that warm baths increase a person’s core body temperature, helping to strengthen and synchronize his or her circadian rhythms (a person’s 24-hour internal clock, running in the background of the brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals).
Researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany worked with 45 participants who were diagnosed with depression. The participants were asked to choose between soaking in 40 degrees Celsius water for up to 30 minutes, or take 40 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week.
Participants were then evaluated and the result shows how taking a warm bath scored six points lower on average on a commonly used depression scale, while those who chose to exercise scored three points lower on average.
Despite the small scale of the study, a warm bath could still prove to help lift one’s mood after a long hard day at work. Below are a few tips to improve your bath or shower experience.
- Have a bath at a time when you are less likely to face distraction, in a peaceful and quiet surrounding. Turning off the television or putting your cellphone on silent mode is advisable, as peace and quiet help you relax.
- Adjust bath water with body and room temperature. While the human body temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius, the ideal bath water temperature is between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius. Guardian points out that according to a Japanese study, bathing in 41 degrees Celsius water in a 25 degrees Celsius room increases the body temperature more than taking a bath in a 14 degrees Celsius room.
- When taking a pre-bedtime bath, the ideal water temperature could be set at 41 degrees Celsius for an 18 degrees Celsius room. This combination would help increase melatonin levels to prepare you for sleep.
- Avoid bathing in too hot baths especially on cold days, as sudden increases in temperature may strain heart muscles.
- To further help you relax, add an essential oil such as lavender for a more calming effect. (acr/mut)