January, as the first month of the year, has become the month we are most likely to dedicate to achieving our health and fitness goals. You may not have thought so, but bathing can help you achieve them!
A bath not only relaxes your body but can energise and strengthen it. Warm baths open the pores, encouraging the body to sweat which is not only beneficial for the skin but also helps the body to release potentially harmful toxins and absorb beneficial minerals.
These are a few of our recommendations for the perfect bath to complement your health and wellbeing for 2015.
Dead Sea Salt bath
The waters of the Dead Sea are world renowned for their therapeutic qualities and have been used in healing for thousands of years. Fortunately, you need not travel thousands of miles to bathe there, as their salts can be purchased dried in most health shops. The blend of magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride and bromides in the Dead Sea is unique and unlike anywhere else in the world. The salts combine to replenish and rehydrate skin, heal sores, relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints and energise the body and mind. Add 50-250g to a warm bath and feel the difference!
Epsom Salts Bath
Taking a warm bath in Epsom salts, also known as hydrated magnesium sulphate, is the best way to moderate your body’s much needed magnesium supply. Although the average human body only needs 25 grams, without it we could not produce energy, use our muscles properly or moderate our blood levels around our body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to serious long term illnesses including chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, and heart disease. We should be able to find the magnesium we need in our diets, but levels have dropped significantly as we consume more processed foods. By taking a warm bath in Epsom salts magnesium can be absorbed through the skin boosting circulatory health, lowering blood pressure, preventing or easing migraine headaches, and much more! Add 100-250grams (a small glassful) and soak away.
Although this may sound unappealing, ice baths can be an antidote to the stiffness, swelling and lethargy that can set in after intense exercise. If you have an active January ahead of you, this is the ideal bath for you! It works in theory by cooling and heating the blood in the body. When the body is in cold water blood vessels contract and circulation slows. When you get out of the bath and the body begins to warm again, the increased blood flow as the blood vessels relax flushes out the lactic acid that builds up in the muscles. It is believed that this not only reduces the muscle stiffness lactic acid is known to cause, but also jump starts the healing process so your recovery time is reduced. Some of the world’s best coaches and athletes swear by them! It is recommended that when trying this out, start with a shallow cold bath (just covering your legs) allow your body to adjust to this temperature and then add as much ice as you feel comfortable with.
Cider Vinegar Bath
Vinegar, as a natural acid, can help to restore your skin’s natural acid/alkali balance. A healthy body should have skin at a PH of about 4 – 5.5, this is slightly acidic. Water, with a PH of 7, is neutral. A lot of soaps and body lotions are slightly alkali and can leave your skin exposed to bacterial and fungal infections. Try adding between 100-200ml (a small glass) of cider vinegar to a warm bath to help your skin recover and protect itself. As a natural antiseptic, it can also be used to help treat existing infections and skin conditions.