It’s an age-old debate. To shower or to bathe, which is better? Everyone loves a long soak in the tub with bubbles and a soothing drink, but there’s no denying that showers are much more convenient and often feel like they’re doing a better job of keeping you clean. But there are many different health aspects to both that you may not have considered.
Here’s a closer look at showers and baths and what each of them can do for your overall health.
Showers are the preferred bathing apparatus for those who want a quick wash with little to no fuss or those who find the idea of sitting in a bowl of hot water incredibly dull. Fortunately for shower lovers, there are some health benefits from your quick douse under the water, such as:
It’s unlikely that people who have baths are literally bathing in their own filth, people aren’t usually coated head to toe in mud. Chances are, they’ll just be a little sweaty from the end of the day.
Regardless, when you shower, any sweat or skin particles get washed straight down the drain rather than linger in the water. Even if you aren’t technically any cleaner than you would be in a bath, it’s just as much a psychological experience as a physical one. You will feel much cleaner like your body’s dirt has been washed away, which will give you a mental boost to start your day off right.
Studies have shown that a cold shower can boost your immune system, increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. Researchers believe this is caused by a process related to an increased metabolic rate which stimulates the body’s immune response. So you can benefit from a healthier body just by doing your daily washing routine – if you can stand the chill of a cold shower that is.
Washing shampoo and conditioner can be tricky in the bath, but a bath full of shampoo can strip your skin of its natural oils. For hair washing days, showers can make it much easier and prevent you from sitting in a tub of products that will have detrimental effects on your skin.
Baths can be great for the skin – as we will see in a moment – but specifically for people with dry skin, showers are the winner. Too much hot water can dehydrate the skin and wash away beneficial bacteria, leaving it irritated and inflamed. As showers are quicker and often at a lower temperature, they can be better for people with dry skin conditions.
Cold showers are great for improving the body’s circulation, especially after exercise. Exposure to cold water causes the body’s blood vessels to constrict, diverting blood away from the surface of the skin, improving circulation in the deeper tissues.
So many people love a long, hot bath. They can be considered more of a pastime than a method of regular washing, but some people do bathe more frequently than they shower (or even exclusively). Like showering, there are a number of health benefits to baths, including:
There’s no denying that baths are incredibly relaxing – why do you think spas always show someone lying in a bubbly tub to emphasise relaxation? They increase your body temperature and help calm your nervous system, releasing endorphins. This can help get rid of stress and help you to relax after a long day.
Research suggests that a hot bath can reduce your blood sugar levels by up to 10%. A long soak can trigger a release of chemicals that combat inflammation in the same way as exercise. While it should in no way be a replacement for good diet and exercise, an occasional hot soak could do wonders.
One advantage of baths is that you can use them to soak in things other than just water. You can add things like essential oils, mineral salts, oats etc. into your bath and use them to moisturise and replenish your skin. If you have specific skin conditions, such as eczema, you can find additional extras to drop into your bath water to make your soak just that much more beneficial.
A hot bath before bed can help you settle off to sleep. An increased body temperature helps synchronise the body’s natural circadian rhythm, leading to better, deeper sleep. There are so many benefits of a good night’s sleep for physical and mental health, and a bath can help you to drift off if you struggle with this.
Which is better, the bath or the shower? Well, fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Go with whichever has the benefits that are better for you. If you like the look of some of the benefits of both, you can switch up your week with alternating baths and showers, or showers during the week and a nice soak at the weekend, it’s totally up to you.
The best way to enjoy both is with a shower bath, providing you with a tub for soaking and a shower head for those quick washers. At Panararmer, we can help you create your ideal bathroom, right from the design stage to installation and all those finishing touches. Contact us today to find out more about our bathrooms in Carnforth services.