Many people take the shower for granted, particularly if it’s part of a morning routine. The temptation to roll out of bed at the last possible second, hop into the shower for 3-5 minutes, and hit the road is strong. However, investing a little extra time in the shower can have some important benefits beyond just getting extra clean. Read on to learn more:
It relaxes stressed muscles.
Did you know that warm water can help relax your muscles? You may have noticed this phenomenon without realizing it. Have you ever stepped into the shower and immediately realized you needed to pee? That’s the muscles surrounding your bladder relaxing in response to the warm water hitting your body.
This effect doesn’t solely affect your urinary system. If your muscles are stiff from a hard workout or from sitting in an office all day, a warm shower can do wonders for unkinking those muscles and facilitating soft, deep stretches in the shower (be careful not to slip).
It helps blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
A warm shower can also improve your vascular health. Warm water causes your blood vessels to dilate, which, in turn, improves your circulation and lowers your blood pressure. This effect is why you often emerge from a shower looking pink and flushed, as the vasodilation allows your blood to travel closer to the surface of your skin.
While the drop in blood pressure is temporary, the benefits of increasing your circulation will last. Better circulation to your skin and the surface tissues of your body will improve healing and help your body remove waste and restore nutrients to those areas of the body.
It can make us sleep faster and enhances sleep quality.
A warm shower in the evening can facilitate relaxation and help individuals sleep more quickly and more deeply. Incorporate showers into your regular evening routine for powerful results.
Additionally, time in the shower/bathroom is time that you’re not spending on your phone before bed. Putting the phone away, hopping in the shower, and conscientiously relaxing your mind and body will prepare you for sleep.
For the best results, you should try to implement your bedtime routine at the same time each night, to help establish a strong waking/sleeping rhythm for your body. Over time, your body will naturally begin to secrete hormones that regulate your sleeping and waking cycles.
It cleanses and moisturizes the skin and improves hair.
Your skin and hair need regular care to stay healthy. While getting clean obviously makes us look and smell better, regular cleansing improves our skin and hair health. One way we improve our skin and hair is by removing grease and dirt that allow bacteria to grow on the surface of our body. Another way is by moisturizing the surface of the skin.
Some products, such as pine tar bar soaps for dry skin, can help seal in moisture to the surface of the skin. These products are often referred to as emollients. Regularly using emollients will help the skin stay healthy and protected from bacteria and disease.
Showers are a natural remedy for colds
While a shower isn’t a miracle drug that cures the common cold, they do help alleviate symptoms. Warm, humid air can help loosen nasal and pulmonary secretions. This allows you to actually blow the snot out of your sinuses and cough up the phlegm that’s plugging up your bronchial tubes.
The effect is temporary, but it can significantly improve the way you feel when you’re under the weather. This is a great way to start the day when you’re sick and have run out of cold medication, as it clears your symptoms long enough to get to the store, guzzle down cough/cold medicine, and get back to your day.
Showers boost self-confidence and minimize daily anxiety and stress.
Showers are a phenomenal way to relax, unwind, and find your emotional center. Therapy and SSRIs are great, but showers are free and you can take them naked (something our therapist doesn’t allow. Prude!).
Sometimes we shower to clean our body, sometimes we shower to clean our soul. Allowing warm water to rush over you as you think about your day, consider your feelings, or just relax, improves mood significantly. In turn, living with less stress improves our overall health on nearly any measure.
Another benefit of spending time in the shower is that it can improve our self-confidence. Spending time with our body helps us grow confidence and comfort with our own physical form. So does the act of physically caring for ourselves. Setting aside time each day to clean our skin with all-natural body soap improves our self-image and grows our confidence. So does nourishing our hair with our favorite womanly or manly shampoo or making our body smell like our favorite fragrance. Our improved image and confidence carry on through the day and measurably boost our mental health.