Hot Baths Might Be Just As Good For You As Exercise, Study Reveals

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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.

Hot baths healthy benefits
Another powerful workout. Photo: Artem Bali

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.

Upgrade your bathing at the spa that lets you soak in red wine.

Guy Parsons

Guy Parsons

Guy is the editor-in-chief of Secret London. He likes running, cover versions and scotch.

1 comment

  1. Good click bait 😉
    Thank you for including the link to the full text article.
    It’s important that all readers know, If you scroll to the bottom of the discussion of their work, the authors clearly state, “it should be noted that EX (exercise) still offers the greatest overall benefit to weight control and metabolic health.” And that taking a hot bath may be of some benefit only to those who are medically unable to perform physical exercise. So, fun as this headline is, keep legging it about and lifting things because a bath just ain’t that good and it certainly won’t give you abs! (Insert dumbbell shapes mix drop emoji here) Liam

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