You may think it is a relaxing feeling to bask in a long, hot bath. In fact, it can offer some similar benefits to exercise. Researchers at Loughborough University in the UK used blood tests to find that a hot bath raises body temperature, as it does during exercise. This acts as a catalyst for the inflammatory response that normally occurs after an intense physical attack.
"Increased core temperature can increase the concentration of a blood-borne protein called IL-6," explains study author, Christof Leicht, a lecturer in motion physiology. This protein triggers a series of anti-inflammatory reactions that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. While the participants chilled in hot water for one hour, other studies, which are already 20 minutes three times a week, show positive effects on blood sugar.