Ideal Relaxation Rituals for Active People
People have different beliefs when it comes to showering and bathing. In some countries including the Philippines, people are discouraged from taking cold showers or baths when they are tired. Apparently, cold water is harmful to tired muscles, and the effects can lead to serious illnesses. One man from the Philippines seemed to have proven that; in a Facebook post, he talked about not having any health problems prior to the one he suffered because of bathing when he’s tired. His symptoms included swelling in the dorsolateral side of his left chest wall. He then underwent a CT scan, which revealed that he had a tumor in his left chest wall.
Sure enough, his doctor stated that the cause of his tumor was his habitual baths when he’s tired. In light of that occurrence, physicians warned that cold baths after physical activities can result in health problems. So if you run to the shower right after a hard session in the gym, you might need to reconsider before doing that again.
Considering the health problems, what’s the ideal relaxation routine then if you have an active lifestyle?
Shower in the Morning to Feel Energized
Morning showers have a handful of perks. It gives you the time to gather your thoughts before starting a long or hectic day, as per Dr. Mona Gahara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. She adds that the mindfulness you can gain from a morning shower can decrease inflammation in the skin by keeping cortisol levels under control.
If you shave regularly, a morning shower is also best because you’re typically more aware, and thus less likely to cut yourself. Plus, your platelet count surges during mornings, making your skin better conditioned for shaving.
Your skin also glows after a morning shower. Since it has yet to be exposed to free radicals, sun, debris, and dirt, morning showers bring out the best in your skin. The fact that your cells have also rejuvenated during your sleep adds to the glow a morning shower brings.
As per the water’s temperature, lukewarm is best, according to Yen Riess, founder of skincare brand Skin Laundry. Too-hot showers can have the opposite effect, especially if your skin is dry or oily.
Soak in a Hot Tub at Night to Soothe Your Aching Muscles
If you often end the day with sore muscles, soak in a hot tub to soothe them. A regular tub will do, but a Bullfrog spa will give you more benefits. It has jets, so you can also get a massage while you’re soaked. As a result, your blood circulation will be boosted, which helps tight muscles relax. You can also add Epsom salt to the water, as it has been proven to reduce inflammation in your joints.
A hot bath is extra beneficial if you have a metabolic disease, like type 2 diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of a hot bath reduce your blood pressure, helping you avoid more serious diseases, like a heart attack or stroke. In a way, a hot bath gives your body an additional, mini-workout, which means that it also burns some calories. So if you feel like you haven’t exercised enough, a hot bath can make up for the minutes you’ve slackened off.
Note, however, that a hot bath may not be safe for you if you’re pregnant or suffering from heart disease. Since it increases your temperature, a hot bath may put an unborn baby at risk for neural tube birth defects, like spina bifida or anencephaly. In people with heart disease, a hot bath can harm their blood vessels. Since you can’t sweat in the tub, your blood vessels aren’t widening to cool you off. In turn, your blood pressure may drop, and your heart rate may speed up.
The risks won’t apply to you if you’re perfectly healthy, so ensure that you’re in optimum physical condition before making a hot bath a nightly ritual.
Shower at Night to Go to Bed Clean
Lukewarm showers are also good every night. If you’re not fond of baths or don’t own a tub, a shower can also give you the same benefits. Plus, it’ll let you go to bed clean, allowing you to maintain your sheet’s freshness.
Nightly showers remove all your makeup, excess sebum, as well as the dirt and pollutants your skin has accumulated during the day. As a result, you can end the day feeling as refreshed as you were in the morning, but totally relaxed. The quality of your sleep will improve since your mind and body are calm.
All in all, the ideal relaxation routine is to basically avoid cold baths and showers. It may be fine in the morning, but lukewarm water serves the full benefits. So set your heaters to the right temperature now, and give your mind and body the daily and nightly TLC they deserve.
Meta title: The Ideal Relaxation Routine if You Have an Active Lifestyle
meta desc: People in the gym normally hop into the shower after a hard session. And after running at night, they may also soak into a hot tub. But are these habits really safe for our bodies? Read on to find out.