Science has spoken: a daily bath habit is better for your mental health than exercise

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
A hot bath could help beat depression more effectively than exercise [Photo: Getty]

Nothing beats a Friday night bubble bath with a good old fashioned book to hand and the gentle flicker of scented candles. Ahhh…

And those of you reading this from your desk dreaming of soaking your troubles away, look no further for the perfect excuse.

A recent study conducted by the University of Freiburg in Germany has proven that a daily bath could be better for your mental health than exercise.

The team of experts randomly assigned 45 people with moderate to severe depression to either twice-weekly thermal baths or two sessions of moderate exercise a week over an eight week-period.

Participants asked to take regular 40C baths were also required to spend a further 20 minutes in ultimate relaxation mode by wrapping up in blankets with a hot water bottle to hand.

Cancel your weekend plans in favour of some well-deserved time in the tub [Photo: Getty]

Results indicated that participants in the bathing group averaged a six-point lift in their mood while those taking on regular exercise noted only a three-point increase on the depression scale.

According to the study published in New Scientist, by increasing a participant’s temperature at night their cardiac rhythms are strengthened and synchronised in line with their body clock.

In people who suffer from depression, this rhythm is often disrupted or delayed by several hours.

In non-scientific terms, in order to boost your mood it’s totally OK to skip the gym in favour of a night dedicated to the tub.

For further information on mental health issues, visit the Mind website.


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