Taking a hot bath may burn as many calories as a cardio sesh
There are people who crave their daily run, then those who’d rather squeeze lemon in their eye than jump on a treadmill. If the latter statement resembles you then boy, do we have a top tip to burn some extra cals. Hint: there’s 0 running required.
Research from Loughborough University has found that there’s more to soaking in a hot bath than we all may have realised. As it turns out, relaxing tub-time has similar benefits to cardio exercise, and it can also help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Yup, we’re not making this up.
Looking into ‘passive heating,’ researcher Dr Steve Faulkner monitored the way that a hot bath directly alters our body’s blood sugar control, and also the burning of calories. The research went like this: 14 participants either soaked in a 40-degree hot bath for an hour that raised the core body temp by one degree, or embarked on a 60-minute cycling sesh.
OK, so the biking did burn more calories, but researchers discovered that chilling out in a hot bath burned about 140 calories which equates to that burned on a 30-minute walk. Great news, huh? Not only this, but baths reduce your peak blood sugar which aids in fighting inflammation, contributing to a strengthened immune system.
“The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 per cent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised,” Dr Faulker told The Conversation.
So there you have it. Ditch the running shoes for your fave bath bomb and treat yourself to an hour-long wind-down in the tub – you have our permission!
Words by Sophie Fisher.