A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany claims that
To compare and identify the effects of taking regular hot baths with regular exercise, the research team selected a group of patients who were suffering from severe to moderate depression and divided them into two groups.
In the first group, people with depression were instructed to take a bath in hot water at 40 degrees for 30 minutes
, then wrap themselves in blankets and relax with hot water bottles for another 20 minutes
In the second group, another set of people with depression were instructed to perform a 40 to 45 minutes session of moderate-to-light aerobic exercises
, such as running, dancing, swimming twice a week
They found both sets of participants showed reduced signs of depression, the group that took hot water baths showed significantly fewer signs of depression
compared to the exercise group, over a period of eight weeks.
Hot baths can help normalize and strengthen the body's normal circadian rhythm (24-hour cycle) or body clock
. An imbalance in this natural rhythm will hamper your mental state of being.
The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock which may involve fluctuations of a person's body temperature which rises in the morning and falls during the night.
In people with depression their body temperature may not regulate itself properly, and taking hot baths may help correct this.
Therefore, the regular hot water bath was proven to be more effective in reducing the symptoms of depression than exercising