Stop Everything: Apparently, A Hot Bath Is Just As Good As Exercise

We’ll just let that soak in.

You could drag yourself to the gym to work off today’s slice of office birthday cake… or you could luxuriate in a steamy hot tub instead.

Why? Because according to new research (and apart from the obvious appeal), an hour-long soak in a hot bath produces the same health benefits as a half-hour walk.

The study, published in Temperature journal and conducted by Loughborough University, took 14 men and asked half to have a bath; and the other half to cycle for an hour. They then measured their blood sugar and amount of calories burned.

Szechenyi Baths, Budapest

While cycling burnt more calories than the bath, bathing burnt as many as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories). Interestingly, participants who had a bath were found to have blood sugar levels around 10 per cent lower after eating than those who had exercised.

Lead researcher Dr Steve Faulkner explained to The Conversation that the health benefits of ‘passive heating’ is a relatively recent field of scientific inquiry. “Repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, which is often present with long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes,” he said.

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