Get fit by taking a bath

Water Circuit - Hydrotherapy

Although it sounds like a contradiction, a bath can provide some great cardio benefits! The water circuit , a type of hydrotherapy , originated in Ancient Rome where citizens would partake in bathing rituals that were considered medically beneficial. Individuals would circulate between baths of warm water, hot water and cold water, in order to ward off disease and ailments. With some creativity, you can enjoy these ancient rituals from the comforts of your own home. Modern day benefits include:

  • Increased metabolic process which can aid in weight loss
  • Faster recovery from injuries
  • Strengthening of your cardiovascular system
  • Detoxification
  • Relaxation and reduced stress

The Process: Expose your body to hot water (No higher than 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5 - 10 minutes. Then expose your body to cold water for 1 minute. Repeat this cycle for up to 1 hour, making sure that you end on a cold cycle.

Your Body's Reaction: Hot water causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the blood to flow to the skin, bringing toxins to the surface. Further, your heart rate increases, due to the extreme temperature. Exposure to cold water constricts the blood vessels, stimulating the thyroid and lymphatic system to flush out metabolic and cellular waste.

Don't have any Roman Baths near by? Try creating your very own water circuit at home:

If you have a Bath Tub and a Separate Shower (IDEAL):

  1. Draw a hot bath in the bath tub and sit in it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Move to the shower and take a cold shower for 1 minute.
  3. Move back into the bath tub and unstop the drain.
  4. As old water drains out, fill the tub with fresh hot water.
  5. When temperature and water level are high enough, restop the drain and sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Get out and take a cold shower for one minute.
  7. Repeat cycle for 20 to 30 minutes, ending on a cold cycle.

If you have a Bath Tub and a Shower in the same Unit:

  1. Draw a hot bath in the bath tub and sit in it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Unstop the drain and turn on the shower.
  3. Stand under cold water for one minute.
  4. Switch to hot water and stand under for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Change back to cold water and stand under for 1 minute
  6. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for 20 to 30 minutes from beginning to end, making sure you end on the cold cycle.

If you only have a Shower:

  1. Start with a hot shower for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Switch to cold water and stand under for one minute.
  3. Repeat cycle for 20 to 30 minutes, ending on a cold cycle.

The best part of Water Circuits is that you can get a great workout, while relaxing, and letting your stress melt away! Try one of these and you should feel the benefits. Report back and let us know what you thought!

Relevant Topics:

Note: Individuals with paralysis, frostbite, or other conditions that impair the nerve endings should only have treatments by a trained hydrotherapist, physical therapist, or other appropriate healthcare professionals. Diabetics and people with hypertension should consult their doctor before using hot tubs or other heat hydrotherapies.