I bath a lot.
I never used to, but I got into the habit when I moved into a place that doesn’t have a shower. Go figure.
However, with the water restrictions getting more and more intense, it hasn’t been possible to soak in a hot bath in a very, very long time. Sob.
But if we were able to, according to researchers, a new study has revealed that “relaxing in a hot bath and doing absolutely nothing may be just as beneficial for your body as a 30-minute walk,” reports Travel & Leisure.
Sounds like the perfect life, no? For sure:
A group at Loughborough University did the strenuous job of tracking this theory with 14 men who were put through two tests: a one-hour bicycle ride and a one-hour bath in 104-degree-Fahrenheit water. The goal was to raise the body’s core temperature by one degree.
All in all, the cycling burned many more calories, but the researchers did come across something somewhat surprising: Relaxing in the hot bath did burn 130 calories, which is about the amount you’ll burn on a half-hour walk.
But there was more. Each participant’s blood sugar was tracked for 34 hours after the tests, and it was discovered that “peak blood sugar was around 10% lower when a bath was taken in place of the bike ride”:
The bath also seemed to have the same effect as exercise when it came to the anti-inflammatory response post-activity for each of the participants. The study suggests that passive heating — exactly what it sounds like, relaxing in a hot bath for an hour — can help reduce inflammation.
But this idea of “passive heating” is nothing new, and is very popular with one country in particularly: Finland. Yup, the land of highly attractive individuals and fjords.
Of course, you don’t have to just have a hot bath. Saunas and jacuzzis are other acts of “passive heating” and apparently help ward off cardiovascular diseases.
However, there is one thing to note: the study participants were all men, and you should know by now that women’s bodies react drastically different.
Either way, no Capetonian will be able to enjoy a guilt-free passive heating session until these water restrictions are up.
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