If you like going for a soak, you could be helping your blood pressure: if the water is warm enough.
A new Japanese study suggests a hot bath at night could be a valuable tool in keeping high blood pressure are bay. The finding comes from a new analysis of a decades-old survey that looked at high blood pressure risk among older adults in Beppu, Japan.
Beppu is known for its natural hot springs.
The analysis showed that when people 65 and over routinely soaked in a hot spring after 7 p.m., they seemed to have a 15 percent lower risk for high blood pressure than people that did not.
The survey featured about 11,000 adults aged 65 and older living in Beppu. Nearly 4 in 40 had high blood pressure when surveyed or had a history of the condition.
There could be a couple of reasons why a nighttime soak appeared to lower blood pressure. One reason could be that a nighttime bath can help lower stress, which can affect blood pressure.
The warm water may also help promote faster and better sleep, which can help keep blood pressure low.
For those disappointed that you don’t live near hot springs, fear not: the results will likely occur from a warm bath or shower before bed, too.
It is important to remember that the results are observational and that taking a warm bath or shower is not a substitute for treating high blood pressure. However, it is yet another lifestyle measure that may help lower blood pressure.
Other measures include increased activity, a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, stress management, good sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight. And, of course, if you are taking medication to treat high blood pressure, adhere to your prescribed regimen.