The results of a study on the effects of hot tub soaking on health factors, like cardiovascular and metabolic functioning, were reported in the April, 2018, New England Journal of Medicine. The findings suggest that heat, over time, increases the rate at which our bodies burn calories, which may help find ways to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals by reducing resistance to insulin.
It is also the first study that measured changes in fat tissue after heat therapy. After a series of hot tub treatments, they discovered changes in fat tissue that could lead not only to lower risk of metabolic disorders, like diabetes, but also to less weight gain.
The researchers found that soaking in a 104-degree hot tub for 30 minutes, six days a week, resulted in significant health improvements.
Benefits of Frequent Hot Tubbing Similar to Aerobics
Researchers saw blood-flow patterns in the study’s subjects indicating that a regular hot tub soaking routine can yield many of the same benefits as aerobic exercise, because both activities raise the body’s temperature, and increase blood flow to the skin, which helps the system flush toxins out of the body.
Improvements were seen after the first month of the hot tubbing regimen. The improvements increased significantly after two months of the soaking regimen. According to Brett Romano Ely, a doctoral candidate at the University of Oregon who conducted the study, subjects in the study reduced their weight by an average 3.75 pounds a month, or more than one pound a week.
Help for Cellulite and Fluid Retention, Too
The study also suggests that due to its stimulation of blood vessels and increase in blood circulation, regular soaking in a hot tub has the ability to decrease the appearance of cellulite, as well as help tone body tissue, relieve swelling and reduce fluid retention.
The conductors of the study hope that these findings will be used to develop more effective weight-loss strategies and other cardiovascular and metabolic health-restoring methods. Ely adds, “Our findings are exciting because repeated heat exposure appears to reverse some of the inflammation in fat that may be causing health impairment in our population.”
Although these findings are interesting, and worth following in the future, physical activity, a healthful diet and regular exercise are endorsed by most medical experts as the crucial components of good health maintenance.