Science Shows That Taking a Hot Bath Burns as Many Calories as 30 Minutes of Exercise

Science Shows That Taking a Hot Bath Burns as Many Calories as 30 Minutes of Exercise

Thanks, science.

By Alesandra Dubin

If you, like us, aspire to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's within a 10-foot radius of your couch, you're going to like the results of some research from earlier this year: A group from Loughborough University determined back in March that relaxing in a 104-degree bath and staring into space may be just as good for your body as a 30-minute walk. And that confirms your decision to order in Chinese, binge watch Netflix, and Treat Yo Self with at-home spa indulgences for the foreseeable future. 

More specifically, the goal of the study was to raise the core body temperature of participants by one degree, according to a recap in Travel + Leisure. And relaxing in the hot bath for half an hour raised body temperature by enough to burn 130 calories — less than what you might expect to burn in more vigorous exercise like cycling, but about the same as you could burn in a half-hour walk.

All told, the study suggested that the bath lowered blood sugar more significantly than a bike ride. And it suggested that what's known as "passive healing" — relaxing in a hot bath, for instance — can help reduce inflammation as well. The takeaway? Give yourself a break whenever possible and that simple act of self-kindness may have more, and more lasting, benefits than you might have even hoped.

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