“Does a hot bath lower blood pressure?”, asks someone who likely might be suffering from high blood pressure, or know someone who is.
This is pretty much common knowledge at this point; a 10-minute hot bath can supposedly help lower someone’s blood pressure by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels via a process known as vasodilation. But, is it true though?
Well, to answer it shortly, yes. A hot bath does indeed help lower blood pressure.
You see, the human body has many ways of maintaining of the so-called core body temperature. However, the two most effective methods are to sweat to stay cool or to shiver to stay warm. The former relies on the process known as vasodilation while the latter relies on vasoconstriction.
Now, when you take a warm bath, you literally force your body to stay cool. As a result, your body reacts by dilating the arteries to the extremities. The body does this in an effort to dissipate the excess heat coming from the hot bath. This spreads the blood around on non-core areas of the human body, giving heat multiple ways to escape the human body. Because of this, your body is basically able to eventually cool itself down. But, a side-effect of doing this is that it increases the blood vessel volume and cause blood pressure to drop.
So, if you’re looking for ways to lower your blood pressure, jumping inside the sauna or spa, or turning the heat up and taking a warm bath is one of the more effective things that you can true. In fact, you’ll be able to notice the effects of a hot bath instantly.
How Do I Lower Blood Pressure?
Of course, taking a hot bath is just one of the many ways that you can lower blood pressure.
Losing weight and keeping it in check remains one of the best ways to keep your blood pressure at a normal level. This is because your blood pressure increases as you gain weight. Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, then, are both very important if you want to lower your blood pressure.
Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet and limiting the alcohol that you drink are both also extremely effective ways to lower your blood pressure.
Other habits that you can curb to help lower blood pressure includes smoking and caffeine. The reason for the latter isn’t exactly clear. But what researchers do know is that caffeine intake can cause brief but dramatic spikes in your blood pressure, even in normally healthy people.
Lastly, reducing stress has also been proven to help lower blood pressure.
Benefits of Taking a Hot Bath
In addition to lowering your blood pressure, there are plenty of other benefits to taking a hot bath.
For example, because hot water helps relax the body, taking a warm shower at night can help you fall asleep faster. Also, bathing regularly in warm water can result into cleaner and healthier skin, as well as helps provide relief for cold and flu symptoms.
So, not only does a hot bath lower blood pressure, but it also has other benefits, giving you a good reason to try and change up your shower preferences.