Can A Hot Bath Burn As Many Calories As A 30-Minute Walk?
Some may find it totally unreasonable or too good to be to true, but according to a 2018 study, taking a hot bath may burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk.
Steve Faulkner, an exercise physiologist from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, has found out that taking a hot bath reduces the level of blood sugar by causing its energy expenditure to increase significantly.
However, this is possible only if you spend at least one hour sitting in your bathtub. According to his findings, the energy expenditure is up to 80%.
Another important aspect which had an impact on the results is the bath temperature which is supposed to be around 40ºC. So, lukewarm water may give lesser results.
So, the question is what makes all this work?
Faulkner believes that all this is possible due to the heat shock proteins. Our bodies produce this kind of proteins during excessive exercising as well as during passive heating where body temperature is highly increased.
He has explained that heat shock proteins are molecules produced by the human body in response to stress.
In the long run, these proteins improve insulin function and manage the control of blood sugar.
However, people with diabetes type 2 have lower levels of these proteins. As Faulkner says, passive heating can be really useful to help these people control the glucose levels as well as help them with their weight management.
The participants in the study burned an average of 140 calories per hour during their hot bath which is much better than cycling for the same time length.
Therefore, the researchers recommend passive heating to people who deal with certain health issues which limit their ability to engage themselves in physical exercise.
In other words, this is the next best thing providing the benefits of moderate exercise which also enables you to relax and stay clean.
Despite lowering the blood sugar levels, taking a long hot bath has numerous other health benefits too:
- It helps you fall asleep faster
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Moisturizes the skin
- Improves blood circulation
- Relieves flu and cold symptoms
- Reduces headaches
- Helps you feel better in general
- Helps you breathe easier
- Improves the function of the nervous system
- It is great for your muscles, joints, and bones
- Promotes the function of the gastrointestinal system
- Balances your hormone system
- Strengthens your immunity