If you feel guilty about taking baths on a daily basis, we have some news for you that we’ll change your mind about that. According to a new study, taking regular hot soaks may lower the risk of death from cardiovascular death.
For the study, researchers tracked and evaluated a total of 30,076 middle-aged Japanese participants over a period starting in 1990 and ending in December 2009 (or when the individual died, whichever came first). At the start of the study, each person filled out a questionnaire describing their bathing habits, along with information such as their exercise routines, diet, alcohol intake, body weight, average sleep duration, medical history, and medications presently being used. Throughout the 19-year monitoring period, 2,097 cases of cardiovascular disease occurred within the study group – these included 275 heart attacks, 53 sudden cardiac deaths, and 1,769 strokes.
After potentially influencing factors were accounted for, it was determined that taking a daily hot bath (as opposed to once or twice weekly, or not at all) was associated with a 28-percent lower overall risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 26-percent lower risk of stroke. A more detailed analysis revealed that the hotter the water, the greater the reduction of risk of cardiovascular disease.
Although the perceived protective effect of frequent warm baths isn’t entirely understood, it is believed that it may be linked to previous findings which suggest that “the effects of heat on the body are not dissimilar to those of exercise.” Additionally, the current study noted that regular tub bathing was associated with a reduced risk of hypertension.
This isn’t the only benefit of taking hot baths: last year, a study concluded that a warm bath before bed should help you fall asleep.