The 12 minute bath

It only takes 12 minutes to enjoy all the amazing benefits of a soak in the tub.  While lots of people love a quick shower in the morning, it's definitely worth it to take a little bit of time in the evening for a deep steep.  Here's why you should promise yourself to #Take12 this week:

1. Outer beauty. Immersing your skin in warm water opens pores and softens your skin better than a shower ever could.  After about 10 minutes in the water, the dry layers of skin become soft and you can use a sugar scrub to slough off that rough skin. Finish by massaging natural bath oil all over damp skin and then pat dry with a towel. Your skin needs minerals to stay healthy, and soaking in a mineral bath is the best way for your skin to absorb them. Dead Sea salt is rich in magnesium, which your skin needs to stay hydrated and smooth.

2. Inner health. Latest research shows that a hot bath improves blood circulation and cardiovascular health. Diabetics could reduce blood sugar levels by around 13 per cent, as the heat dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow so the body makes better use of its insulin, the hormone that converts blood sugar into energy. Adding some stimulating essential oils and minerals to your bath will enhance the effects.

3. Strong mind. If you're prone to depression, you might want to try a cool water bath. Cooler water helps to activate the nervous system and increase endorphins, the brain's natural anti-depressant chemicals. Stressed out? Warm baths have been found to reduce the stress chemicals cortisol and chromogranin. You can boost your emotional well-being by using essential oils in your bath for aromatherapy benefits. Uplifting oils include rose geranium and orange, while lavender and chamomile are favourites for relaxation and sleep aid.

4. Relaxed muscles. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes of immersion in warm water to reduce tension on overstretched muscles. If you've recently started a new exercise program, your muscles will thank you for the improved flexibility a bath offers as it relieves post-workout soreness. Try a rosemary and mint bath soak for added muscle benefits.

Bathing tips

Some of us can't remember the last time we took an actual bath, and some of us couldn't imagine life without the simple pleasure of a deep steep. A morning soak can be just as refreshing as a shower and need not take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Warm water (not hot), and invigorating essential oils like lemon verbena or mint set an upbeat mood for the day.

The evening bath should be warmer, but still comfortable. A mineral bath made with sandalwood, vanilla, or rose essential oils will help you unwind and relax. It's good for the soul, and a nice transition from sitting at a screen to getting into a cozy bed. Here are some tips for making the most of your bath:

Keep it simple. Forget about candles and bubbles. You're more likely to take the time for a soak if you don't have do a lot of work to prepare or clean up.

Find your center.  While you're in the tub, breathe deeply, close your eyes, think good thoughts.

Lock the door. Knowing that nobody's going to barge in will help you relax. Odds are, you completely deserve to be left alone for a little while, anyway. 

Drink water. You might not realize it, but you can sweat a lot while soaking in hot water! So make sure you re-hydrate with a full glass of water when you're through.

Remember the classic air travel safety tip. In the event of trouble, you should affix your own oxygen mask first, before helping others. Being able to breathe allows you to be a better helper to those around you. Who knew?