A study carried out by Loughborough University in England revealed that taking an hour-long bath can burn as many as 130 calories which is equivalent to a 30-minute walk.
At a time when there are unrealistic demands from one's body, fuelled by the modern standards of beauty, there is a lot of pressure to be fit and look good. Everyone seems to be heading to the gym and working out. Posts on Instagram, Facebook and other media platforms about daily gains of people have become a common thing and not to mention the pressure to be fit. It is a vicious cycle. In such an atmosphere where health and fitness seem to have acquired a new meaning and fitness gurus crop up by the dozen, does an average man or woman have an easy way out? Apparently, we do. The answer lies in having a relaxing one-hour bath. A study carried out by Loughborough University in England, says that taking an hour-long leisurely bath is equivalent to a 30-minute walk reports Science Alert. Before you abandon your exercise routines and head for your bathtubs, we suggest you read what the findings of the study. In the study, as many as 14 men were sent out for a one-hour bicycle ride. This same group was also given a one-hour soak at 104F. The research found that the bike ride burned more calories. No doubt.
But here comes the surprise. The study also found that the bath still managed to burn as much as 130 calories which is the same as a 30-minute walk. The main reason for this was due to the rise in core temperature of the body which caused the calories to burn off the report said. Each of the 14 participants were monitored for blood sugar levels for a period of 24 hours. It was found that this was 10 percent lower after the bath.
According to the BBC, keeping blood sugar levels within the normal range is an important measure of your "metabolic" fitness. Dr. Steve Faulkner of Loughborough University and the main author of the study said, "Where we started to see differences was when we looked at the peak glucose output." Peak glucose output of a person is the amount that your blood sugar goes up after a meal and is a risk marker for type-2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. "What we found was that peak glucose was actually quite a bit lower after the bath, compared with exercise," he added.
Explaining the reason for this, Dr. Faulkner thinks that it may be partly because of the release of heat shock proteins or simply proteins released in response to heat. Heat shock proteins are part of the body's defense system and can also be released by things such as stress, infections, inflammation and also exercise. Studies in animals also suggest that they may also help divert sugar from the bloodstream and into muscles. Persistently high blood sugar damages arteries and nerves and so keeping the level down is essential for a healthy existence.
Along with monitoring the blood sugar levels, the participants were also fitted with equipment to measure the amount of calories burnt. Internal core temperatures were also measured using rectal thermometers. "One of the first things that we were looking at is the energy expenditure. While you're in the bath and what we found was an 80 percent increase in energy expenditure just as a result of sitting in the bath for the course of an hour," said Dr. Faulkner.
For all those people around the world who are thinking of substituting exercise for a long bath, Dr. Faulkner does not think that it would be such a good idea. On the other hand, he says that people should try to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. His research, Dr. Faulkner says, is that it is for people who struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels and who find it hard to exercise.
Researchers suggest this passive heating weight loss programme is mostly recommended for people whose health considerations may make it difficult for them to engage in any kind of physical exercise and exertion. Hence, in such cases, the next best thing to do is to obtain the benefits of moderate exercise. At the same time, one can do so many other things such as catching up on your favorite sitcoms or book while at the same time getting cleaned and burning calories. A win-win situation. The findings of the study have been reported in the journal Temperature and is titled, The effect of passive heating on heat shock protein 70 and interleukin-6: A possible treatment tool for metabolic diseases?