From lowering blood sugar to burning calories the trickster's way, a recent study has found the delightfully surprising benefits of doing nothing except unwind in a hot bath.
If you suffer from diabetes, are exercise-wary and looking for a sneaky way to lose weight or just love nothing better than a blissful soak in a hot bath when you’re exhausted, there’s good news for you. A recent study has found relaxing in a tub of hot water can be as beneficial for you as working out, as it reduces sugar spikes and burns as many calories as a 30-minute walk.
A group of researchers in England’s Loughborough University were assessing if passive heating was as effective as exercising while they were looking into different ways to exercise in order to control type 2 diabetes. Passive heating, which is popular in Finland, is a relatively new concept in medicine and is simply carried out by relaxing in water for about an hour or spending time in a sauna. Dr Steve Faulkner and his team put a group of men through two tests, aiming to raise the body's core temperature by one degree. The first assessment saw the men cycling for one hour while the second had them plunge in a 40˚C bath for the same amount of time.
The researchers measured how many calories they all burned and monitored their blood sugar levels for 24 hours afterwards. The results were unexpected as they showed the bath was more effective at lowering blood sugar levels than cycling, in fact peak blood sugar was around 10 percent lower after the participants took the bath as compared to when they went on the bike ride. The soak was also useful in reducing inflammation. Plus, the results showed that while cycling burned more calories with more energy expenditure, chilling in a hot tub can burn as many as 126 calories, the same amount as a 25-30-minute walk, resulting in an 80 percent increase in energy expenditure.
The study was done on men and women’s bodies may react a bit differently. What’s more, staying physically active is one of the best ways to stay healthy, but it’s always great to find out one of life’s pleasures is even better for us than we thought!