There’s nothing more relaxing than a long, hot soak in the tub, but did you know that baths may actually be good for more than soothing away stress?
Scientists now say that taking a hot bath burns a ton of calories! It almost sounds too good to be true.
Those of us who have been reluctantly dragging ourselves to aerobics classes for years may even feel a little shortchanged — all those hours sweating and gasping, and I could have been in the bath the whole time?!
Well, not quite. If you want to tone up your arms or lose weight, hitting the gym and eating right is still the best formula. It’s just that now you have a great justification for needing a long soak afterwards!
No matter how active you are, taking a hot bath should still be a major part of your fitness routine. Climbing in the tub burns as many calories as a half-hour of gentle exercise.
Bathing in hot water also has a whole heap of other benefits. It’s good for your mind, body, and soul!
Scroll through below to learn more.
Who among us doesn’t love relaxing in a hot bath?
There’s something about soaking in lots of bubbles and fancy soaps that just feels luxurious and spa-like, without ever leaving your home.
According to the BBC, a study conducted by Dr. Steve Faulkner from Loughborough University indicates that taking a hot bath may have benefits beyond just helping you unwind.
The study compared the benefits of exercising and a hot bath by having participants exercise on bicycles and take hot baths, at various intervals.
Both of these activities raise the body’s core temperature, which encourages the body to start burning through calories.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that the hard cardio workout of biking burned more calories than simply sitting in the bath.
Though biking burned more calories (around 630), bathing did actually have a substantial effect on how quickly the body burned through calories.
During one hour of bath-time, participants burned around 130 calories, the equivalent of a leisurely half-hour walk. Their energy expenditure increased 80%.
For comparison, the average person burns only about 50 calories while seated at room temperature for half an hour.
Even more surprising? Taking a hot bath had a profound effect on blood sugar levels.
During the study, participants also had their peak glucose (blood sugar) levels monitored.
After taking a hot bath, participants’ glucose levels were 10% lower than they were after exercise.
In other words, a hot bath does more to lower your blood sugar than working out.
The researcher leading the study, Dr. Steve Faulkner, believes that being submerged in the heat of a hot bath causes the body to release heat shock proteins, which burn up the glucose at an unusually high rate of speed.
Though the science is just starting out, there are high hopes that this discovery (and more hot baths!) will become part of the regimen for treating people with prediabetes and diabetes type 2.
Meanwhile, it could also explain the powerful weight-loss benefits associated with saunas and hot tubs.
Humans have been bathing in hot water for millennia, and many cultures around the world credit steam baths and saunas with helping their populations stay svelte.
Perhaps the hot bath is just the latest in a long line of relaxing routines for losing weight and staying fit!
Do you love the idea of getting healthier just by soaking in the tub?
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