There are two sides of thought for bathing: either you prefer a quick, steamy shower or a lengthy and relaxing bath. You may have your reasons for enjoying one form of bathing over the other, but there are actually benefits to each in terms of cleanliness, health benefits and energy-efficiency.
The Long Soak: Benefits of Taking Baths
If you’re not prone to taking regular baths, then you may not give much thought to your bathtub. People have debated the benefits and drawbacks to a long soak at the end of the day, from relieving muscle soreness to a bath’s lack of energy-efficiency. However, recent studies show that taking a bath can have significant health benefits. When deciding to take a bath, consider the following perks:
- Health Benefits: Did you know there are several health perks associated with taking regular baths? Hot baths can reduce cortisone levels, which decreases premature aging. Lounging in the tub can also stabilize blood pressure by improving and increasing blood flow, reduce glucose levels and keep immune health up by aiding the flow of oxygen throughout your body.
- Water Additives: Unlike a shower, when you take a bath, you’re able to add salts and other ingredients to ease aches or skin conditions. If you have sore muscles, adding Epsom salts will reduce muscle pain. Oatmeal, milk and honey are great for skin conditions like eczema or sunburns.
- Improved Sleep and Mental Health: Hot baths have recently been linked to reduced stress, which helps you sleep and can decreased feelings of loneliness.
- Deeper Clean: You might’ve heard that baths are a cesspool of your daily activity, which isn’t completely true. First, most humans aren’t rolling around in dirt and the minimal amount of filth you have on your skin actually spreads away from your body while you bathe. Prolonged baths are actually good at removing excess skin cells, which can only be removed with long soaks.
- Safe for Children: If you’re bathing a child, then a bath is the obvious easier choice for a successful cleaning. But with a tub, you don’t have to worry about your child slipping and falling.
While regular baths are great for improving health conditions, there are certain drawbacks, including that they are less energy-efficient (consuming 36 gallons of water for a typical bath) are time-consuming and can increase chances of dry skin. Additionally, the elderly are at a greater risk of falling while trying to exit.
The Power Shower
Most homes have showers as part of their bathroom package because most Americans prefer showers over baths. They're certainly better time-savers at the beginning of a hectic morning. Other reasons to take a shower include:
- Environmentally Friendly: Unlike a bath, showers can be extremely energy-efficient. They use only 20 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower. You can even install a water-saving showerhead that uses only two gallons of water per minute.
- Added Health Perks: The hot pressurized water on your back and muscles is good for relieving tension and aches. The steam from a shower can also help with any congestion you’re experiencing. And like a bath, a warm shower can ease anxiety and feelings of loneliness.
- Hygienic: If you work out regularly or wear a lot of makeup, showering is a better option for you because those particles will be drained versus remaining in your water.
- Time-Saving: You can adequately clean your body in 10 minutes by showering, versus 30 minutes or more with a bath.
- Space-Saving: Showers take up considerably less space in your bathroom than a full tub.
However, like baths, showers offer their own list of drawbacks — including an increased risk of slipping and falling, they’re more difficult for bathing children, sealing leaks are harder to fix and the steam can lead to mildew and mold growth.