A scorching tub may very well be pretty much as good to your well being as a long term
A recent study at the University of Coventry found that the body’s response to hot baths and saunas mimicked its response to low- or moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as jogging.
It can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and can have broader health benefits as well.
Yes, it seems too good to be true, and the researchers even noticed how strange it looks.
“Indeed, regular bathing in the sauna or hot tub can have similar health benefits to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, and cycling,” they write in The Conversation.
“At first glance it may seem illogical to compare a hot bath or sauna with jogging – after all, the former is perceived as relaxing and the latter as tiring – but they are more similar than you might think.”
However, the researchers warn that a hot bath is no substitute for regular exercise.
“Before considering canceling your gym membership and investing the savings in a hot tub, understand that regular saunas or baths cannot replicate all of the health benefits of exercise, such as:
“The use of hot baths or saunas should not be viewed as a substitute for exercise. But it can mimic some of the health benefits – and we believe that when combined with exercise, it can lead to better health. ”
The heat of a bath or sauna raises your body temperature until you feel hot and sweaty, and triggers a subtle increase in heart rate – common physical reactions that occur during exercise.
During the study, the volunteers were asked to bathe in the hot tub for the same length of time and ride a bike at moderate intensity.
While exercise better increases the amount of energy burned, the researchers found a comparable increase in core body temperature and heart rate.
Ultrasound scans of the volunteers’ arteries also showed a similar increase in blood flow.
While you could enjoy the occasional hot bath, the volunteers who took part in the University of Coventry study endured a full 60 minutes in water at a temperature of 40.5 ° C.
Researchers warn that exposure to heat can lead to dizziness, loss of balance and an increased risk of fainting. This is caused by orthostatic hypotension, which is a combination of the widening of blood vessels from the heat and a change in posture such as decreased blood flow to your brain.
There is also a risk of becoming dehydrated from sweating and experiencing headaches and fatigue as a result.
If you want to try it for yourself, drink plenty of water and slowly get out of the bath. If you really want to feel healthier, take a hot bath and regularly walk, bike, or jog.