It is no shame if you are a person who likes to take a hot bath, no matter what gender. And you know, science has proved it very beneficial for your health.
Granted, the study is fairly small. But its findings suggest something that bath lovers have been saying for years: that not only bath comfier than exercise but they're also better for fighting depression as well.
Researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany developed the study, choosing 45 people who struggle with depression. The group was split into two, and each cohort was given different instructions.
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They were instructed to do 40 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, twice a week, for eight weeks. This was obviously good for their fitness, but researchers wanted to see how it affected depression.
They were told to have a bath in toasty-warm 104-degree water every day for up to half an hour, for eight weeks. I know that exercise is good, but sign me up for group two.
Researchers assessed their moods on a depression scale. Both practices decreased depression — exercise lowered depression by three points, while baths lowered it by six points. In short, while both are effective, baths are doubly effective.
Anyone who regularly takes baths will tell you that it's a good mood booster. But delving into the science of why this is the case, things quickly get pretty speculative.
Circadian rhythm, which helps your body wake up and go to sleep consistently, is often associated with depression — as depressed people often have a delayed circadian rhythm, which leads to insomnia.
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It doesn't just help us fall asleep — it also helps regulates the temperatures of our internal organs. It's possible that people with delayed circadian rhythms just need a warm boost.
It's just a theory, but the researchers think that regularly increasing body temperatures through frequent baths could help boost things to the point that circadian rhythms are improved, which would help with depression.
Now, I'm not a scientist, but I do know this: exercise helps drastically in the long run, and you'll feel better with regular exercise. But the actual act of exercise, in the moment, can be an ordeal.
Baths are perfect "me" time. You can light candles, put on music, watch a movie on a tablet (just don't drop it in the tub!), and meditate. In the moment, baths are so much better than exercise.
There's only one way to find out! It's not like you have anything to lose, apart from savings on your water bill, by trying to replicate their findings for yourself! I'm going to draw a hot bath right now.
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