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Are hot baths healthy?

Experts say that taking a warm bath is good for you for certain reasons, at certain times of the day, depending on the temperature. That's helpful! 

A Japanese research study seemed to indicate that taking a hot bath in cold weather increased the heart attack rate ten times. However, the report of the study at Kyoto Prefectural University didn't show the ages of the participants or whether they had previous circulation/heart problems, and other research shows massive benefits in taking a good hot bath.

It is still true, though, that sudden changes, whether in temperature or action, tend to show up in raised heart attack rates in the population in general—so diving into a hot one when you return from a blustery wintry walk may not be a very good idea. While we're on the subject, turn off that noisy alarm clock or radio buzzer. It may help get you to work on time in the morning, but it also can generate a fight or flight response and could, if you have blood pressure or circulation issues, contribute to problems.

On the plus side, a nice long soak is supposed to be better at battling anxiety than a trip to the meds cabinet, can help resolve a stuffy nose and head off sinus issues. And because when you go to bed, your body temperature drops after a steamy soak (sauna, anyone?), you tend to sleep better, says Hot baths also ease aches and pains.

The latest is that hot baths can boost your immune system, help with skin ailments, and even with serious medical conditions such as diabetes. Another good thing about baths is that you can throw things in, especially natural products, that help with various problems from yeast infections (cider vinegar) to eczema (baking soda) to headaches (foot baths and scented oils).

When you need R&R after a busy day at work, a hot bath seems to be an excellent choice for body and soul.

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