The study found that heat therapies like submersion in a hot tub can raise core body temperature and improve blood flow, which in turn can lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and even reduce inflammation. Similarly, a study in Finland showed that middle-aged men who had four to seven sauna sessions a week had a 50 per cent reduction in their risk of fatal cardiovascular disease, compared with those who had only one sauna a week. If that wasn’t enough to convert you to heat therapies, it’s also thought to be an antidepressant and has been shown to decrease the risk of dementia.
While the benefits are certainly worth noting, it goes without saying that exercise will always outweigh a hot bath when it comes to health benefits. You might emerge invigorated from your soak, but you won’t be building muscle or strength, nor will you be aiding weight loss.
So, just how hot does the bath have to be to receive such benefits? Well, here comes the tricky bit. Researchers found that the best option is to sit up to your shoulders in a hot tub that is heated to approximately 40 degrees Celsius for an hour. Given the heat required, it’s likely you won’t be able to achieve this in your own bath tub, so most recommend enlisting the services of professionals. Baths might be able to make you healthier, but with this kind of heat, it’s always worth seeking medical advice as you could be at increased risk of dizziness, fainting and dehydration. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that your hands and feet will be withered like prunes post-soak. Still, to our health!