Have you ever wondered why it is that for all the health benefits of using our industry’s products, most consumers are only dimly aware that there are any? It’s both a mystery and shame. As research defining the spectrum of benefits of hot water immersion and aquatic activity piles up year after year, discussions remain largely  academic and strangely dispassionate. It’s time to face the painful fact square in the face: As an industry, we have been just plain lousy at using the amazingly compelling information we have at our fingertips for our own benefit as well as for the benefit of our consumers. Most would agree, I’m sure, that this pitiable status quo must change — but how? A viable answer might just have been buried in the title of a story on newsweek.com. It was an opinion piece by British researcher Steve Faulkner, with a compelling title: “Why Taking a Hot Bath Might Be as Good for Your Health as Exercise.” In the piece, Faulkner discusses the results of a study at Loughborough University that strongly supports the idea that bathing in hot water is in some very important respects as good for our health as exercise. Think about that: as good as exercise. To quickly recap the study, 14 men were assigned to either an hour-long soak in a hot bath (at 104 degrees Fahrenheit) or an hour of cycling; both were designed to cause a small rise in core body temperature over the time period. Faulkner’s team measured how many calories the participants burned in each session and monitored blood sugar for 24 hours after each trial. The results: “Bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories),” Faulkner wrote. “The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.” He continues: “We also showed changes to the inflammatory response similar to that following exercise. The anti-inflammatory response to exercise is important as it helps to protect us against infection and illness, but chronic inflammation is associated with a reduced ability to fight off diseases. This suggests that repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, that is often present with long-term diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes.”


Credit: www.aquamagazine.com