Is Taking a Hot Bath Your Next Favorite Workout?

Is Taking a Hot Bath Your Next Favorite Workout?
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There are few things in life that are as relaxing and luxurious as taking a hot bath. So what if we told that taking a hot bath will not only make you feel good but also help you lose weight?

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, not according to a study that’s been making the rounds recently.

Researchers at Loughborough University say that relaxing in a hot bath — basically doing nothing but loving life — may be just as beneficial for your body as a 30-minute walk.

The researchers tracked this theory with 14 men (not women) who were put through two tests: a one-hour bicycle ride and a one-hour bath in 104-degree-Fahrenheit water.

Although the cycling was found to burn more calories, those relaxing in the tub shed 130 calories, which is about the same you can lose on a 30-minute walk.

It sounds pretty amazing but that doesn’t mean you should replace your running shoes with bath salts and bubbles just yet.

“There are mixed reviews on whether [the study] is true or not,” NYC Surgical Associate’s head doctor and co-founder, Dr. David Greuner, tells Organic Authority. He points out some other important facts about the study. “It also showed that the baths lowered the men’s blood sugar after they ate by 10% more than exercising. And it was also a small study on 14 men, some of which were overweight.”

The study suggests that passive heating to the body — like relaxing in a hot bath or even a sauna — can help reduce inflammation, which leads to weight loss.

“Here is the science behind the thought that heat can help you lose weight,” says Dr. Greuner. “Certain proteins are produced in your cells due to conditions such as heat and/or exercise. The thought is that these proteins help the function of your insulin, which helps your blood sugar levels. The more your blood sugar is controlled, the less likely you are to have a sugar crash and feel hungry, a.k.a., eat! So in this sense, yes, the heat from the bath could potentially help you lose some calories.”

However, as Dr. Greuner notes, 130 calories isn’t a ton of calories to lose a significant amount of weight. “Depending on your body you might burn more calories than others because of the heat and the proteins that are produced. But I would not suggest that taking a hot bath and exercising are the same and if you replace your exercise with baths, you are not going to be living a healthy lifestyle,” he says.

Even if taking a good soak can’t replace a sweat session, Dr. Greuner recommends taking a hot bath can work wonders for the soul, including taking one before bedtime to relax.

“The heat and water will help your body relax before bed and sleeping better leads to a healthier you and in return burning more calories!”

Don’t have to ask us twice!

Related on Organic Authority

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Cryotherapy Spas and Ice Baths: Could Freezing Your Ass Off Cure You?
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Brianne Hogan

Writer

Writer, personal trainer, healthy eating coach, vegetarian, Oprah devotee, overall wellness freak. Brianne's byline has been featured on HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Thrillist, among others. Check out her online training programs at: briannehoganfitness.com