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  • Getting in shape, it's tough.

  • But does it have to be?

  • 1000

  • What I want to know is can you get fit by doing absolutely nothing?

  • So as a doctor, exercise is very, very important for me.

  • I know the benefits physically and mentally,

  • I need it to keep me going.

  • However it's very, very difficult sometimes.

  • I could be going to or from hospital and I don't often have the time.

  • So are there any handy shortcuts?

  • Can you cheat yourself into shape without all the hard work?

  • Can you think yourself stronger?

  • I know this sounds pretty lazy, but neuroscientists are actually looking into this.

  • What they thought was how muscle could get stronger by just thinking of exercising them.

  • They start by seeing how strong people's calf muscles are,

  • similar to those leg press things you see at the gym.

  • Hey, never skip leg day.

  • Then by using ultrasound and zapping the leg with electrical impulses

  • you can actually identify what part of the

  • muscle you're actually using.

  • Then the fun part, the volunteers are actually trained in the art of just thinking about doing the leg exercises.

  • It's not just about picturing yourself in the chair and seeing your foot and

  • seeing the force, it's also about the sensation of the brace against your ankle.

  • Each session will be about 15 minutes.

  • The group of volunteers then trained hard over the next four weeks, and the

  • results are pretty staggering.

  • What we showed was an increase of approximately 20 percent in our ability

  • to activate the muscles.

  • Pretty great, huh?

  • All from the power of the mind.

  • The mental imagery is a rehearsal of the skill.

  • So you're better at recruiting the muscles in an orderly fashion so that we can activate

  • a larger percentage of the muscle and that then produces more force and we become stronger.

  • So the volunteers, their muscles didn't actually get any bigger

  • however, they were able to utilise more of the muscle they already had.

  • So there you go.

  • You can make your muscles stronger with just your mind.

  • No exercise.

  • Just mind force.

  • So what other different cheat ways can we get stronger and get into super-athletes

  • without actually having to move?

  • Now, there's some great research that actually suggests you can get the same

  • benefits that you do from exercise from a bathtub.

  • So what I want to know, and bear with me be on this one,

  • is a bath actually better than exercise?

  • This isn't something that I just dreamt up, it too has some science behind it.

  • There's a very big study came out of Finland where they showed that increased

  • rates of sauna use in the wider population actually resulted in a

  • reduction in marks of cardiovascular disease risk, but also overall cause of mortality.

  • So are the Scandinavians onto something with hot tubs and saunas?

  • And can a hot bath really give you the same benefits as exercise?

  • Well, scientists from Loughborough University actually put this research to the test.

  • They compared getting hot with exercise to getting hot in a bath.

  • They want to see how well people actually controlled their glucose levels,

  • which is something in medicine we know is key for good health

  • and actually normally helped by exercise.

  • Ready for bath time!

  • Not quite the candlelit spa that they had in mind,

  • I guess it turns out the baths they use for scientific research

  • aren't quite as cozy as the ones we have with the candles and the rubber duckies at home.

  • They were kept and toasty 40 degrees for one hour while their blood sugar levels

  • and calories were monitored and measured.

  • The masks they're wearing measures the calories they're burning as they get hot

  • To compare, they also sweated it out on an exercise bike for one hour.

  • So what they looked at was energy used up whilst volunteers are actually having a bath.

  • What we found was about an 80 percent increase in energy expenditure

  • just as a result of sitting in the bath for the course of an hour.

  • So lying in a hot bath like this one can actually burn calories

  • an extra sixty one, to be precise.

  • And it's a lot less tasking than running around on any exercise bike,

  • I can tell you that.

  • So what about blood sugar levels and that all important peak glucose measurement

  • that you often get after you've had a big meal.

  • Where we started to see differences is when you look at your peak glucose output

  • and the key thing that's important about peak glucose output is it's one of the

  • potential risk markers towards things like developing Type two diabetes.

  • And what we actually found with the bath versus the exercise is that your peak glucose

  • was actually quite a little bit lower compared to exercise,

  • which is completely unexpected.

  • So astonishingly laying in a nice hot bath like this for an hour was 10 percent

  • ore effective in bringing down those peak glucose levels than actually exercise itself.

  • So the question is, why is lying in hot water giving you this benefit?

  • One of the things that we think is it's down to these things called heat shock proteins

  • that are released in response to heat stress,

  • these heat shock proteins, will take some of the sugar that's in your blood stream,

  • out of the bloodstream and into the muscle.

  • Honestly, I am loving the sound of this.

  • I love a good reason to jump in a hot bath or kick it in the sauna.

  • I guess maybe we should all be a bit more Scandinavian ey?

  • Now, these results from these studies are incredible.

  • It seems like you can actually get some of the key benefits of exercise

  • without even having to move at all.

  • And as a doctor, this really makes me enthusiastic because I know how many

  • patients I see that aren't able to exercise like some of us.

  • So, yes, as we've seen, the results are pretty staggering.

  • However, this does not give you an excuse not to move.

  • We do know there is no substitute for hard work and real hard core exercise.

  • We know that exercise gives so many more benefits than just blood sugar levels and calories,

  • those endorphins you get, the social aspect of going to the gym with your mates.

  • There's no substitute for exercise and hard work.

  • So as soon as we can get out there and it's safe, let's go and get moving.

  • Doctor's orders.

Getting in shape, it's tough.

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A1 US exercise bath glucose muscle peak stronger

Can You Get Fit by Doing Absolutely Nothing? | Medical Myths | Earth Lab

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    joey joey posted on 2022/01/05
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