Time for a nice long workout: doing absolutely nothing.
A steaming, bubbly tub of research from Loughborough University has revealed that hot baths might be better than running or cycling when it comes to controlling blood sugar and reducing inflammation.
In their study, 14 men were assigned to either take an hour-long, hot soak in a bath (win!) or spend an hour shredding it on a cycling machine (sucks to be them.) They found the bath burned as many calories as a 30-minute walk, and reduced peak post-meal blood sugar by 10% more than the cyclists.
The researchers’ report on The Conversation highlights other studies that have produced similar benefits. A 2015 investigation found saunas reduce the risk of strokes, a 2016 study revealed hot baths reduced blood pressure by more than a treadmill workout, while a 1999 research programme suggested that ‘hot tub therapy’ for diabetics could improve body weight, blood sugar control and insulin dependence.
‘Hot tub therapy’ sounds good to me.
It’s suggested that both hot baths and exercise generate extra ‘heat shock proteins’ that have a beneficial effect on our health, with the implication that exercise might simply be a very theatrical, tiring and un-bubbly way of making oneself hot.
Plus, you just try enjoying a glass of wine while you’re on a treadmill. It’s quite difficult, and in my experience, the gym will usually ask you to leave.