The primary difference between taking a bath and a shower is very straightforward. When bathing, you fill a tub and soak your body in it. When showering, you stand under the showerhead to clean yourself up with running water. Let’s see what the benefits and drawbacks of choosing between bath vs shower are.
People prefer bathing when they need to relax, rehydrate skin and ease tense muscles. A shower is preferable if you want to clean yourself up more quickly and more efficiently.
When taking a bath, you immerse your body in stationary water in a bathtub. Our ancestors bathed in rivers and lakes and beaches. As people started to build cities, they established public baths. Concerns about hygiene and privacy encouraged many people to add a personal bathing facility in their own homes. Early bathtubs were made of wood and today, we have bathtubs made of marble, ceramic, porcelain, and plastic.
Benefits of taking a bath
For many people, bathing isn’t only a way to clean up, but also to relax. If you are considering whether it’s a good idea to take a bath more often, here are some benefits to consider:
- Ease skin problems: If you have certain skin conditions, bathing is a good way to properly coat your skin. As an example, if you have eczema, oat baths may help to ease the symptoms and discomforts. You can choose suitable bathing methods that support your skin treatments.
- Stress relief: With the right temperature and scents, you will find anxiety and worries begin to float away in a bathtub. A daily 15-minute bath often provides effective stress-relief and relaxation benefits.
- Improve sleep quality: If you have trouble winding down, a relaxing bath can be helpful. Take a bath about one hour before bedtime and it is useful for regulating your body temperature. You will be better prepared for a good night’s sleep. You will sleep sooner and longer than usual.
- Relieve sore muscles and joints: If you are an active individual, bathing offers relief for your joints and muscles. A warm bath should be beneficial for your sore muscles.
- Regulated blood pressure: Warm water opens up your blood vessel and improves circulation. Your blood will move freely to all parts of your body. Although bathing doesn’t directly lower your blood pressure, a calmer mind will help ease symptoms of hypertension.
- Improved breathing: If you have a problem breathing properly, you should fill the bathtub up to your neck level. Stay in the tub and the hot water helps to restore your breathing patterns. Choose lukewarm or hot water, which can help ease your breathing problem.
- Ease hemorrhoid pain: Haemorrhoids can be painful and a warm bath will reduce inflammation. For extra relief, you may add Epsom salts into your bathtub.
Soaking yourself in the bathtub may make a wonderful evening, but it doesn’t always give you an ideal result. Let’s take a look at a few drawbacks of taking a bath daily:
- Not as clean: You need running water to clean yourself up properly. Dirt and excess oil will remain inside the bathtub until you drain it. A good solution is to take a brief shower to rinse your skin before going inside the bathtub.
- More prone to vaginal problems: Regular bathing may affect the pH level of your body. Soaps and bath salts may make women more vulnerable to vaginal irritation, yeast infections, or bacterial vaginosis. If women experience discomfort or itchiness, it’s recommended to consult a doctor.
- Strips skin oil: Warm, soapy water can strip your skin of natural oils. If you spend more than 30 minutes in the bathtub, natural oils can be completely removed from your skin. Oils are essential for coating your skin to protect against dirt and prevent the loss of moisture.
- Higher chance of skin contamination: If you use unfiltered water, bathing increases the chance of skin contamination. You need to use water filters to remove contaminants and impurities, such as arsenic, lead, mercury, pesticide, and chloride. Quality water filters preserve useful minerals, such as zinc and magnesium. Limescale can be prevented because the excess amount of minerals in the water is removed.
A shower is made possible by proper plumbing technology. Showerhead sprays water continuously with different intensities and patterns. It can be like a light drizzle or torrential rain, depending on the water pressure. The shower is faster and more convenient, in comparison to a bath. Most homes have standard wall-mounted showerheads, with simple or elaborate designs. Basic features usually include multiple spray modes and adjustable angles. When choosing showerheads, be sure they are resistant to corrosion and hard water build-ups.
If you prefer a rain-like experience, there’s a top-mounted showerhead that you can install directly onto the bathroom ceiling. Because family members have different personal preferences and body heights, you can choose a showerhead with a sliding bar that moves along the wall-mounted base.
Benefits of taking a shower
Cleanliness is the most obvious reason why people shower, but it also delivers plenty more benefits such as a better mood and increased energy level. Here are other benefits you can get from showering regularly:
- Save time: If you are in a hurry, a shower saves a lot of time. It takes time to fill your bathtub, especially if your neighborhood has lower water pressure in the morning. It takes only a few minutes to get yourself cleaned up with a short shower.
- Reduce water usage: Many homes have fairly large bathtubs for extra comfort, so you need to fill them up with more water. Daily baths can increase water consumption, especially if you have more than four people in the family. When taking a shower, you can set the water pressure at medium and you only need three minutes or less to clean yourself up. Proper showering habits will reduce your utility bills and make your home greener.
- Alleviate depression: Cold shower is part of hydrotherapy that helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Take a 5-minute cold shower three times a week and it gives your brain a mild jolt. Cold water induces an increased level of electrical impulses in your brain, which increase clarity and alertness. The pituitary glands and hypothalamus will produce enough endorphins to calm your mind.
- Weight loss: People with low metabolism need to do a number of lifestyle changes to lose weight and become healthier. You may benefit from an elevated level of metabolism by taking a cold shower three times a week. Because cold shower positively affects your gastrointestinal systems and hormone levels, they will lead to proper weight loss.
- Improved circulation: For many people, a cold shower is uncomfortable, but it changes the way your bodywork. Your body will work harder to maintain a stable core temperature. If you take a cold shower regularly, your circulatory system can work more efficiently. If you have a mild sports injury or sore muscles, the cold shower may help to bring down inflammation or bruises. Freshly oxygenated blood will be delivered to all parts of your body after taking a cold shower.
- Prevent common illness: Many still think that a cold shower can make you sick and cause fever. In reality, a cold shower shocks your body and stimulates the production of leukocytes. They help your body to fight against infections better. You will be more resistant to infections caused by pathogens. In fact, there is a study that risks of certain types of cancer can be reduced by regular cold showers.
- Lower blood sugar level: A hot shower can be what you need if you want to stabilize your blood sugar level. A study by Loughborough University verifies that hot water increases the amount of energy expended and controls your blood sugar level.
Having a shower is clearly convenient, but there are a few disadvantages to consider.
- Higher risks of mold growth: If everyone at home takes a hot shower regularly, it will constantly fill your bathroom with warm steam. Mold may grow more easily on organic materials, such as wallpaper and ceilings made of wood. Dehumidifiers work well for reducing excess moisture, especially if your bathroom isn’t well ventilated. You can place dehumidifiers in the most humid areas of your bathroom. However, dehumidifiers may not be enough if the air inside your bathroom is constantly saturated with humidity due to frequent uses. Bathroom fans quickly draw humid, warm air, keeping things drier and preventing the uncontrolled growth of mold.
- You need to stand: When taking a shower, you need to stand up and this can be difficult for people with certain health conditions. For elderly people with unsteady feet, it can be uncomfortable to shower daily. It’s also potentially dangerous if you rarely scrub the bathroom floor because it will be quite slippery.
- Need good water pressure: You can’t have a shower if the water pressure is too low. This is a common problem in an apartment building, especially if you live on the upper floors. A trickle of water won’t be very helpful for cleaning up. A common solution is to use an electric shower that stores enough water in a tank.
Choosing whether to take a bath vs shower, comes down to your situation and personal preferences. The primary goal is always to get clean, but the benefits of each determine your choice.