Great news! A steamy hour-long bath could burn as many calories as a brisk 30-minute walk.
A new study published in the journal Temperature has found that a hot bath has anti-inflammatory benefits and can boost your metabolic health - much like mild exercise.
Sure, the scientific research may be in its preliminary stages, but the evidence is stacking up and looking pretty good for us water babies.
Recruiting 14 men to take part in the study, the research team from the UK's Loughborough University assigned the group to an hour-long hot bath (at 40 degrees Celsius) or an hour of cycling. They then measured how many calories the men burned within the hour. Unsurprisingly, the men burned more calories cycling, however, results shows that bathing burned around 140 calories - the same amount as one would burn during a half-hour walk. Winning!
“It seems that activities that increase heat shock proteins may help to improve blood sugar control and offer an alternative to exercise,” lead author and research associate Steve Faulkner wrote in The Conversation. “These activities - such as soaking in a hot tub or taking a sauna may have health benefits for people who are unable to exercise regularly.”
Faulkner also explained that their exciting research supports previous findings from a few years ago. “Research from Finland, published in 2015, suggested that frequent saunas can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke – at least in men,” he wrote. “The idea that passive heating can improve cardiovascular function received further support when the University of Oregon published a study the following year showing that regular hot baths can lower blood pressure.”
Well, there you have it, folks! That’s enough for us to alleviate guilt and opt for a hot bath over a run. Thank you science!