Understanding hot water baths in rainy season
Growing up in the eighties was different- a good kind of different experience. Remembering with nostalgia those days when the world was innocent and still sane, when it was still devoid of the madness that came after, how my peers would dance near-naked in the rain when their mothers went out and how the seduction of the stormy elements was just too strong to resist. As such, we would always find an excuse to feel the rain drip on our nude skin.
Also, trekking through swamps of rainwaters was quite commonplace because the rains had flooded every available walkway, it was childhood, plain and undefiled. So it was, that at every time we got home, soaked and drenched in rainwater, our mothers will insist that we get a hot bath or soak our feet in salted hot water.
Upset that we played in the rain, our mums never bothered to explain but in time, it became clear why a hot water bath is essential after the cold wet rain. The cold rain for one can make body temperatures unstable by causing hypothermia, which occurs when the body gets cold and loses heat faster than the body can make it. The rainy season also brings with it respiratory diseases such as cold and flu and results in fluctuations in body temperature and it was for these reasons, that we were made to bath in hot water or at the very least, soak our wet cold feet in it.
There are many benefits of warm water during the rainy season; one of these is that drinking warm water soothes nasal and throat congestion while removing phlegm from the respiratory tract. Drinking warm water also aids digestion as it dissolves the fat deposited in the inner walls of the intestine reduces the incidence of intestinal cancer and also flushes toxins from the body. Drinking warm water removes congestion in the chest, as nasal congestion is a common occurrence in the wet season of the rain, warm water also helps to flush out the mucus in the air passage and lungs giving a soothing relief from sinus and soreness throat.
When mixed with coffee and teas, hot water has many benefits. Research published in 2017, linked hot coffee consumption to a longer life. Other research has found a link between moderate hot coffee consumption and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, some liver disease and heart health problems. Hot teas are known to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and liver disease. Studies have also linked consumption of a hot cup of water to reduced stress and anxiety levels.
Speaking on the benefits of hot water during the rainy season, a medical practitioner, Dr. Bukky Tikare, noted that hot water baths have become necessary as it increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure while relaxing the body and putting it in sleep mode. According to her, hot water baths during the rainy season also helps maintain hygiene because it washes the oil and dirt out from the skin pores ensuring that the skin and hair have a healthy shine and glow.
Dr. Adefarati Ajayi, another medical practitioner emphasised that hot water not only restores body temperature but also prevents headaches; this is because, during the rainy season, high humidity can trigger headaches, especially in children, so having a hot water bath will help prevent this.
Other benefits of hot water especially in the wet season include burning calories as a recent study conducted by Loughborough University, United Kingdom (U.K.) on the effect of hot baths suggests. Hot water baths also moisturize the skin as the warm water leaves the skin moist for longer and more receptive to skin vitamins when applied. Hot baths also help us feel better and more relaxed after a stressful day. It is also a great way to reduce daily anxiety as well and makes us feel good all around.
Warm water has also proven useful in reducing mental stress as an immersion in a warm bath results in a reduction and balance in the nervous system activity. The combination of these effects may improve brain function with an increase in working memory, language skills and processing speed.
So with the rains in season, a warm water bath has become an invaluable asset and quintessential to a healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, it is imperative for families to invest and install a water heater in their homes to navigate through this rainy season. Although some people consider a water heater as a luxury, recent studies have shown that quality water heater brands are moderately priced.
It has also been proven that buying and installing a water heater in homes to provide hot water for bath and other purposes is far cheaper in the long run than many other ways of heating water either using gas or stove. Water heaters are also safer when you compare with the hazards associated with boiling water in the kitchen and taking it to the bathroom, which could cause a domestic accident.
*Umoh is a public health analyst