Taking a soak in a hot bath burns more calories than you’d think
Researchers claim that relaxing in a hot bath may be just as beneficial for your body as a 30-minute walk.
A group of scientists at Loughborough University in England put 14 men through two tests: a one-hour bicycle ride and a one-hour bath in 104-degree Fahrenheit water.
Cycling was found to burn more calories, but relaxing in a bath also shed 130 calories – which is about the amount you’ll burn on a half-hour walk – because of the increase in body temperature.
They also measured the participants’ blood sugar for 24 hours after each trial.
It was discovered that peak blood sugar was around 10 percent lower when a bath was taken in place of the bike ride.
“We also showed changes to the inflammatory response similar to that following exercise,” said Steve Faulkner, a research associate at Loughborough University.
“The anti-inflammatory response to exercise is important as it helps to protect us against infection and illness, but chronic inflammation is associated with a reduced ability to fight off diseases. This suggests that repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, which is often present with long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.”
The study suggests that passive heating – soaking in a hot tub or taking a sauna – can do great things for your physical and mental health, especially for people who are unable to exercise regularly.