A hot bath to improve health and well-being?
We all know it – exercise helps us staying healthy. But what if disability, injury, old age, or general frailty does prevent people to meet the recommended amounts of exercise? Since part of the health effects of exercise are related to the exercise-induced body temperature increases, getting warm without doing any exercise may also improve people`s health. We have therefore been researching this area: elevating body temperature for health purposes. Taking hot water baths is an easy to perform method to investigate this. We are particularly interested in the potential of elevated body temperature to improve glucose control, to improve inflammation, and to improve vessel health.
Regularly increasing body temperature can indeed lower risk factors for chronic disease, such as factors related to Type II Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease, which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. Our recommendation: take regular hot baths or go to the sauna if you feel that you can’t exercise enough. However: do not take this as an excuse not to exercise – exercise can help you in ways a bath can’t. For example, exercise helps improving fitness and strength, and it can provide you with the positive social interactions you’re unlikely (or less likely) to have in your bathtub.