About to hit the gym? What if we told you a bath might be just as effective as exercise when it comes to your health.
Dr Steve Faulkner, a researcher at Loughborough University, says taking a bath may have similar benefits to exercising – helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.
He explained to The Conversation that science has begun to discover how 'passive heating' can improve health.
Dr Faulkner and his team have investigated the effect a hot bath has on blood sugar control and the number of calories burned. The study involved 14 people each enjoying an hour-long soak in a bath run at 40 degrees as well as heading out on a hour's cycle.
The two tests were designed to raise core body temperature by just one degree so that the team could measure how many calories were burned in each session.
Though cycling did burn more calories, they found that a hot bath used up as many of those pesky Cs as a 30-minute walk.
'The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10% lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised,' Dr Faulkner reports.
He also explained that the anti-inflammatory properties of exercise are important for our immune systems and help us fight 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'.
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