Loughborough University scientists tested 14 men by sending them on a one-hour bicycle ride and then letting them take a one-hour bath in water at a temperature of 40C.
Cycling was found to burn more calories, but relaxing in a bath also shed 130 calories - about same you can lose on a 30-minute walk - because of the increase in body temperature.
Scientists then tracked the blood sugar of all participants for 24 hours, according to the website Travel and Leisure.
They found peak blood sugar was about 10 per cent lower when the bath was taken as opposed to the bike ride.
The research suggests 'passive heating' reduces inflammation. Passive heating is used as a medical treatment in Finland and the JAMA Internal Medicine journal suggested sitting in a sauna could help fend off cardiovascular diseases.
The Daily Mail
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