Taking a bath isn't just relaxing. It could also be good for your heart, study says

(CNN)Ending your day with a hot bath might have more benefits relaxation.

It could also lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study finds.
Previous research on bathing has already shown that it's beneficial for sleep quality and how healthy a person thinks they are.
    A new study, published Tuesday in the journal Heart, found that a daily hot bath is also associated with a 28% lower risk of heart disease, and a 26% lower risk of stroke -- likely because taking a bath is also associated with lowering your blood pressure, the researchers said.
    They discovered this after tracking the bathing habits and cardiovascular disease risk of more than 61,000 Japanese adults for 20 years.
    "We found that frequent tub bathing was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension, suggesting that a beneficial effect of tub bathing on risk of [cardiovascular disease] may be in part due to a reduced risk of developing hypertension," the researchers said in a press release.

    Bathing linked to heart health

    Participants ages 40 to 59 with no history of heart disease were followed from 1990 to 2009. At the start of the study, they were separated into groups by how often they took a bath in a tub on average: less than once a week, one to two times per week, almost daily or every day.
    The researchers also gathered information on potentially influential factors, such as the participants' weight, smoking status, how often they exercised, alcohol intake, job status, education, how long they slept, perceived mental stress and life enjoyment.
    By the end of the follow-up period in 2009, out of more than 30,000 final participants, the researchers documented 2,097 cases of cardiovascular disease, including 275 heart attacks, 53 sudden cardiac deaths and 1,769 strokes. They found that the more the participants bathed, the lower their risk was for cardiovascular disease.
    The temperature of the water, based on participants' descriptions, also mattered. There was a 26% lower risk for heart disease with warm water, and a 35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease for hot water.