Thinking about taking a bath with all this free time? There are significant health benefits, according to a new study.
It turns out diving into a daily steamy, hot bath significantly lowered the risk of heart disease and stroke due to bathing being associated with lowering blood pressure. The study, published in the journal Heart, found that regular tub bathing lowered the risk of death from both diseases, with a daily hot bath being more protective than a once or twice weekly regiment.
Bathing has been associated with good sleep quality and better health, past studies have shown, but researchers wanted to dive deeper into its impact on cardiovascular disease.
“We found that frequent tub bathing was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension, suggesting that a beneficial effect of tub bathing on risk of [cardiovascular disease] may in part be due to a reduced risk of developing hypertension,” researchers said in a press release.
The long-term study started in 1990, where some 43,000 participants completed a questionnaire on their bathing habits and answered questions about their lifestyle, like exercise, diet, alcohol use, weight, sleep, medical history and current medications they used.
Each participant was followed through the duration of the study, which ended in 2009. A total of 30,076 people were part of the final analysis, according to the study.
Throughout the duration of the study, 2097 cases of cardiovascular disease occurred including 275 heart attacks, 53 cardiac deaths, and 1769 strokes.
The data showed that compared with taking a bath once or twice weekly or no bath at all, a hot bath was associated with a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 26% lower risk of stroke.
Researchers warned that this study is only observational.
“There can be no doubt about the potential dangers of bathing in hot water, and the occurrence of death from this increases with age, as well as with the temperature of the water,” Dr. Andrew Felix Burden wrote.
He added: “Investigations into the potential cardiovascular benefit of heat-free immersion in warm to hot water are needed,” he says. “In the meanwhile, caution is needed because of the higher mortality associated with such bathing in an unselected population.”
While taking a hot bath might help in some ways, it won’t prevent you from the coronavirus, experts warned.
The World Health Organization recently debunked this myth in a post saying regardless of what temperature the water is, it won’t stop you from catching COVID-19.
“The best way to protect yourself against COVID_19 is by frequently cleaning your hands,” WHO said. “By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.”