Science says hot baths might be better for us than we thought
It seems like every day there’s more flaming hoops we have to jump through to stay healthy, but sometimes science throws us a bone, giving us a little hope that being lazy might have benefits in the long run. This new study claiming hot baths might actually burn calories is one of those times.
Dr. Steve Faulkner, a researcher at Loughborough University, brings us potentially great news with his study about how a hot bath may carry similar health benefits to mild exercise. According to an article he wrote for The Conversation, it has to do with something science-y called “passive heating,” which is a different bodily process than getting hot and sweaty from exercise.
The study involved 14 men (ugh, WHY couldn’t they use burnt-out moms who needed the break?) either cycling or taking an hour-long bath with the water above 40 degrees celsius. The results? “Cycling resulted in more calories being burned compared with a hot bath, but bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories).”
And it’s not just calories burned that Dr. Faulkner discovered as a bath benefit. “The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10% lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.”
Exsqueeze me? All along, we could’ve replaced a half hour of moving with an hour of doing nothing? Hopefully, behind a closed bathroom door with a gallon of wine close by? Science, we’re a little pissed you didn’t tell us sooner, but at least now we know. Gone are the days where we feel guilty for our indulgent baths because they could actually make us healthier.
Shut up and take our money. Like, all of it.
Of course, we by no means condone a life of daily baths and no physical exercise (though if that’s your thing, you do you, girl) but isn’t it nice to know that you could possibly burn off the wine and Girl Scout cookies you’re consuming in the tub while you’re still in the tub? This is some magical sorcery and we are so here for it.
Our advice? Exercise however long feels right to you (for me, that’s about 27 minutes of lazy treadmill-walking while taking BuzzFeed quizzes about which kind of breakfast food I am) and follow up with a calorie-scorching hour in a hot bath.
We can already feel the burn.