If you were about to force yourself out on a run, stop right there—because a *bath* might be just as effective as exercise when it comes to your health.
Dr. Steve Faulkner, a researcher at Loughborough University, says a soak may have similar benefits to exercising as it pertains to preventing type 2 diabetes. He explained to the Conversation (opens in new tab) that, though a hot bath has always been relaxing, it is only recently 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 Celsius versus those who went cycling for 60 minutes.
The two tests were designed to raise core body temperature by just one degree so that the team could measure how many calories (opens in new tab) 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 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised, Dr Faulkner reports.
He also explained that the anti-inflammatory properties (opens in new tab) 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.
So don't feel too bad about taking off your sneakers in favor of a long soak—though why not do both?
I’ve been a freelance journalist and editor for over 10 years, and have worked for a wide variety of the UK’s top publications. Think: Red Magazine, Glamour, Tatler, Good Housekeeping, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Conde Nast Traveller, The Sunday Times, STYLIST and so many more.
The 2023 Nail Trends That Are Taking Over, According to the Pros
We're going back to basics.
By Samantha Holender
How to Style an Oversized Sweater
Big knit energy.
By Emma Childs
Netflix's 'Perfect Match' Season 1: Everything We Know
What happens when contestants from 'Love Is Blind,' 'Too Hot to Handle,' and 'The Ultimatum' get together?
By Quinci LeGardye
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe