Warming baths protect against inflammation and help with diets

Warming baths protect against inflammation and help with diets

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Warming baths have similar positive effects as sports exercises
A warm bath is usually very pleasant and relaxing. Researchers have now found that a hot bath creates some of the health benefits that come from doing exercise. Hot baths even increase calorie burning.

Loughborough University scientists found the health benefits of passive warming up through hot baths. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Temperature".

How do hot baths affect metabolic fitness and calorie consumption?
Many different cultures around the world swear by the benefits of a hot bath. A team of experts compared the effects of passive warm-up from hot baths to the benefits of warming the body through sweaty sports. They tried to find out more precisely how a hot bath affects the so-called blood sugar control (an important measure of metabolic fitness) and the energy consumed (number of calories burned).

Subjects either had to take hot baths or cycling
The researchers recruited 14 men for their study. These were either assigned to a one-hour hot bath (40 degrees) or they had to cycle for one hour. Both activities are designed to achieve a 1 degree increase in core body temperature, the scientists explain.

The calorie consumption of the participants was determined
We examined how many calories the men burned in each session, the authors report. The subjects' blood sugar was also measured for a period of 24 hours after each test.

High blood sugar levels after eating were lower due to hot baths
Cycling burned more calories compared to a hot bath, the doctors explain. But at least bathing led to the burning of calories, which was comparable to walking for half an hour (about 140 calories). The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar. However, the maximum blood sugar levels after eating were ten percent lower when the participants took a hot bath, the experts add.

Hot baths protect against inflammatory reactions
A hot bath also showed changes in the inflammatory reactions, comparable to the exercise of sports, the researchers explain in their study. The anti-inflammatory response to exercise is important. It protects people from diseases and infections.

Patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from hot baths
Chronic inflammation is associated with a reduced ability to fight diseases. The results suggest that repeated passive heating through hot baths can help reduce chronic inflammation, which is common in long-term conditions like type 2 diabetes, the scientists add. (as)

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