A new study finds that a hot bath might hold many benefits.
Apr 4, 2017
Is a hot bath the secret to a healthier you?
There are plenty of cultures that swear by taking a hot bath. In Iceland, the tradition of bathing outdoors in volcanically heated pools dates back to the time of the Vikings. In Japan, an onsen, or a hot spring bath, is something people look forward to on the weekends as a treat after a long work week.
Taking a hot bath is certainly one of life’s simple pleasures but it may actually be good for your health too.
A study from a team at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom’s National Centre for Sport & Exercise recently found that hot bathers were better off in controlling their blood sugar than those who exercised.
The experiment included 14 fit and overweight men that were assigned to either an hour of cycling or an hour of a 104-degree bath session. The bath participants’ blood sugar levels were 10% lower than the cyclists – a good sign for those trying to control their metabolic disorders. Of course, those who cycled burned more calories, but those who bathed burned as many calories as taking a half hour walk.
But the benefits don’t end with being able to skip a gym class.
“Regular hot baths can help improve blood pressure,” Steve Faulkner, lead author of the study, wrote in The Conversation.
And since blood sugar levels were lowered, this hot bath routine can also help soothe those that suffer with diseases associated with chronic inflammation such as Type 2 diabetes.
These therapeutic baths are just another alternative to an exercise routine and not to be replaced by your normal fitness regime – but this promising study does illustrate the healing effects of hot water. So go on, take a nice soak.