This news could help people who are not able to exercise due to their health.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, suggests that soaking in a hot tub for 60 minutes may provide similar post-activity cardiovascular benefits as 60 minutes of cycling.
Exercise improves cardiorespiratory and blood vessel health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the amount of work required by the heart to move blood throughout the body. The previous study has demonstrated that heat immersion, such as in a hot tub, boosts these characteristics as well, but little is known about how long the effects remain after exertion.
Understanding the health benefits of heat treatment is critical since many people do not achieve suggested physical activity guidelines or are unable to exercise owing to underlying health disorders or mobility issues.
A small sample of healthy young adults took part in two trial circumstances on two distinct days in a new study from the University of Oregon. Cycling at 60 percent maximum effort for 60 minutes was one of the conditions.
In the other condition, the volunteers sat almost up to their shoulders in a hot tub filled with 105-degree F water until they became extremely hot, then were submerged to just above their waist for an hour.
To replenish fluid loss from sweat, the volunteers drank 16.9 ounces of water during both trial conditions. Throughout the trial, the researchers recorded the individuals’ heart rates, core body temperatures, and blood pressure.
The research team took ultrasound images of blood flow in the individuals’ thigh and upper arm arteries after each activity and continued to take vital signs.
During both the cycling activity and the heat conditions, the researchers discovered higher heart rate and artery dilatation, as well as lower blood pressure.
“We know that the post-exercise period is an important timeframe that links exercise with long-term cardiovascular benefits. That similar post-stress cardiovascular responses were observed following exercise as following hot water immersion is compelling,” said Christopher Minson, PhD, corresponding author of the study.
“This is important because there are cardiovascular disease patient populations that would stand to gain tremendously from exercise, yet cannot do so. Heat therapy may be a viable alternative to exercise for these patient populations,” the researchers wrote.
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