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Most of us go through a stage while we’re kids where we don’t want to take baths. Our parents tell us that hygiene is essential, and we need to be clean.

They don’t usually explain why. It’s just a given, and we take it into adulthood that bathing is essential.

But hopping in a cold tub or shower isn’t quite enough. You know you’re supposed to wash your dishes in hot water, yet you still don’t mind showering in cool temperatures.

These 8 reasons will explain why your health depends on the hot water bath and shower you take each day.

1. The Heat Kills Germs

According to the World Health Organization, if you take a shower in temperatures ranging from 140°F to 150°F, you’re killing most viruses that are on your skin. The top geysers available make it possible to set your temps, so you know you’re safely removing microorganisms every time you bathe.

2. Your Blood Sugar Lowers

With millions of people fighting obesity and diabetes, blood sugar is a daily battle. A hot shower can lower blood sugar and burn calories, too!

3. It’s Good for Your Muscles

At some point, everyone deals with sore muscles. Whether it’s from the way we slept, worked out, or the stress we carry in our shoulders and neck, hot water can help. The heat relaxes your muscles, letting your body recover faster.

4. It Helps You Sleep Better

Trouble falling asleep? A hot bath might help. Stepping into warm water increases your body temperatures, soothes your muscles, and sets the stage for relaxing. Try to keep your bath to 20 minutes or less, then dry off and head straight to bed.

5. Better Blood Pressure

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a serious problem around the world today. It can cause heart conditions, stroke, and other deadly medical issues. But a good soak in a hot bath or shower helps your body relax, which lowers your blood pressure at the same time. Keep in mind that it can increase your heart rate, so talk to your doctor if you have cardiovascular issues first.

6. Hot Water Boosts Circulation

Getting oxygenated blood to flow throughout your body clears your skin and improves your organ health. Yet, if you’re not active enough, your circulation is probably in need of a boost. A hot shower does the trick for you, opening your blood vessels and pushing the oxygenated cells everywhere they need to go.

7. Relieves Your Cold or Flu Symptoms

Are you stuffy and congested? Dealing with a sore throat? Those cold and flu symptoms that are making you so miserable can be relieved with a hot, steamy shower. The steam opens your respiratory system, circulates fresh blood throughout your body, and helps you breathe better.

8. Gets Rid of Headaches

When you have a headache, it’s hard to concentrate on anything going on around you. Since most headaches are caused by blood vessels constricting in your head, it makes sense that a hot shower relieves the pain. As the hot water flushes oxygenated blood through your system, the blood vessels open up, and the headache is reduced or disappears.