Working an exhausting 8-hour work day or juggling a busy semester of classes makes it difficult to scratch off lose weight from our bucket lists. Nobody wants to slave away at the gym during their limited down time.
But don’t worry, science helps us burn calories while relaxing in the comfort of our own homes!
Researchers determined that taking a hot bath for at least one hour can burn almost 130 calories. This study, performed by Dr. S. H. Faulkner in 2017, looked at 14 obese males and 14 lean males who either moderately cycled or bathed in 104 degree fahrenheit water for 60 minutes. Faulkner found that both methods forced the body to use more energy.
Those who bathed burned 79% more calories than someone sitting on their couch. However, those who biked burned almost 750% more calories than someone at rest.
This study obviously shows that exercise is still the best weight loss method. However, bathing may be more accessible for those who lack time.Bathing may also help those who battle fatigue, stress, or muscle pain. So if you find it difficult to exercise daily, this is a great way to burn calories It can potentially boost metabolism, too.
Dr. Faulkner also found that bathing in 104 fahrenheit water for one hour before a meal helped to regulate blood sugar more efficiently than post-meal exercise. The hot bath actually reduced dangerous blood sugar levels without medication. So, those with type 2 diabetes or at risk for high blood sugar will benefit from these long, hot baths as well.
If you aren’t a bath person, unfortunately scientists didn’t study hot showers yet. However, it would waste a lot of hot water to spend an hour in the shower with piping hot water.
These benefits of hot showers also correlate with hot baths, though:
- Cleansing the skin with hot water allows the pores to open and rises out toxins
- Improving circulation loosens joints, tendons, tissues and muscles
- Reducing inflammation
- Loosening muscles and getting the blood flowing for exercise.
- Relieving stiffness
- Relieving coughs (steam can loosen phlegm and mucus that cause sore throats and coughs)
- Decreasing stress and insomnia
So the next time you want to relax without leaving your house, draw a hot bath instead! Turn on some Netflix and relax in the tub for a bit instead of heading to the gym. At least you’ll still burn calories, plus you’ll help your body in other ways, too. Thanks to this amazing research, you’ll never have to feel guilty about skipping the gym and treating yourself to a night of relaxation again!