After a long day at office, the first thing you want to do is run yourself a soothing, hot bath as soon as you get home.
Now, the latest research shows that baths are not only great for unwinding and soaking away the stresses of the day, they can also play an important role in boosting your immune system, help skin conditions like eczema and even alleviate serious medical disorders.
One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that diabetics who spent just half an hour in a hot tub could reduce their blood sugar levels by around 13 per cent - as the heat dilated their blood vessels, blood-flow improved and the body made better use of its insulin, the hormone that converts blood sugar into energy.
A separate Japanese study showed that 10 minutes in a warm bath improved cardiovascular health in elderly men and women, helping them to cope better in exercise tests and reducing pain.
Previous research had suggested that hot baths could be dangerous for heart disease patients, because they temporarily increase blood pressure.
Now a new book, 48 Hours to a Healthier Life, claims baths can be used as a simple-form of hydrotherapy to keep the body in mint condition and reduce the risk of illness.
'I heartily recommend bathing,' says the book's author, Suzi Grant, a member of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists.
'It can prevent colds and viruses, reduce stress, improve sleep, strengthen blood circulation, boost the immune system and detoxify the body.'