A hot bath can do more than relax you. The goal: Raise the body’s core temperature by one degree. Unsurprisingly, the bike riders burned many more calories in reaching the goal.
But researchers discovered that relaxing in the hot bath burned 130 calories, roughly the same amount burned during a 30-minute walk.
Researchers also discovered:
- The blood sugar of all the study’s participants was tracked for 24 hours after the tests. Peak blood sugar was about 10 percent lower when a bath was taken instead of the bike ride.
- The bath had a similar anti-inflammatory response post-activity for each of the participants as exercise. This suggests that passive heating (er, doing nothing in a hot bath for an hour) can help reduce inflammation.
Passive heating as a medical treatment is a relatively new idea in the United States (though it is popular in Finland). But a 2015 JAMA study found spending time in saunas—also passive heating—may help folks avoid cardiovascular disease.
There is one caveat: All of the study participants in the biking versus bathing study were men. Since our bodies can act in vastly different ways, it’s unknown if the results for women would’ve been the same.
But, ladies, that doesn’t mean you should choose a workout over a warm bath. A good long soak can do wonders for your mental well-being.
This story originally appeared at BlackHealthMatters.com.
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1. Lady Gaga once told Billboard about her depression, “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life. I just want these kids to know that this modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That’s not human.”
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2. Adele once admitted that anxiety attacks keep her from playing large festivals and arenas.
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3. Jennifer Lawrence once revealed that she suffered from social anxiety as soon as she started school.
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4. Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab in October for depression and suicidal thoughts.
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5. After a stint in rehab for anorexia, bulimia, and cutting, Demi Lovato discovered that she was manic depressive/bipolar. She told People, “I feel like I am in control now, where for my whole life, I wasn’t in control.”
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6. Kanye West reportedly felt suicidal after the death of his mother in 2007.
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7. Zayn Malik’s anxiety is often so crippling, it’s caused him to cancel shows.
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8. Britney Spears knows a thing or two about social anxiety, saying, “I’m not good in large groups, I just make everything awkward.”
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9. The Rock talked to Oprah about his depression, saying, “I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and say, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be okay. It’ll be okay.'”
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10. Kerry Washington once spoke about her depression and unhealthy relationship with food and exercise in college, saying, “I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health.”
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