There’s not much in life that’s more inviting than a nice, long soak in the tub.
It can relax those sore muscles… help you wind down from a stressful day… and give you a few precious minutes away from the “real world,” when you can finally clear your head.
I know some people get the same sense of clarity – and a certain feeling of euphoria – after going for a long run.
But if you’re a little older… and “weak in the knees” has come to mean something other than puppy love… it can be a lot harder to lace up those running shoes, even to take a brisk walk.
But a recent study found that when it comes to burning calories and controlling blood sugar, taking a long, hot bath may give those cardiovascular workouts a run for their money!
In the study, when volunteers who were fitted with blood sugar monitors and thermometers relaxed in a 104-degree bath for an hour, something incredible happened.
Their bodies started burning calories – just from sitting there!
Sure, it wasn’t as many as riding a bike for an hour… but they actually burned more during bath time than what’s typical while mowing the lawn or weeding the garden for 20 minutes.
And there’s even better news about the results of this study: an hour-long bath helped control blood sugar BETTER than an hour of exercise.
We know that exercise helps control glucose levels and reduce those “sugar spikes” after you eat a meal. But researchers found that the hot bath cut peak glucose by 10 percent MORE than cycling!
This makes sense, because your body releases proteins in response to heat as part of your defence system. And consistent heat, like you’d get in a steaming bathtub, can lead these proteins to continuously divert sugar from your bloodstream and into your muscles.
Lying in a warm bathtub can’t possibly replace daily activity, so there probably won’t be a “sit in the bath” workout offered at your local gym anytime soon.
You still need to get your body moving and blood flowing to stay healthy.
But taking a bath IN ADDITION to moderate daily activity can boost your overall health and can even help keep diabetes at bay.
So if you do go somewhere to exercise, see if they’ve got a hot tub, a steam room or a sauna that you can use for a post-workout “sweat.”
A good sweat session can also be incredibly beneficial to your health, as it can release lots of toxins – right out of the pores of your skin.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Can you get the benefits of exercise by having a hot bath?, bbc.com/news/magazine-36744906
50 easy ways to burn 100 calories, sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1777