Not in the mood for your regular sweat sesh? I have good news: You can just take a bath instead! Yes — bathing can burns calories; and science can explain how a hot bath may be the new exercise and can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk.
In a recent study from Dr. Steve Faulkner of Loughborough University, one group of men enjoyed an hour-long soak, while a second did an hour of cycling. Dr. Faulkner monitored blood sugar control and calories burned. While the hour of cycling burned more calories than the hour of tub time, a hot, hour-long bath still caused participants to burn the equivalent of a 30-minute walk — roughly 140 calories. Equally as interesting is the differences in blood sugar between the two groups: It was similar in both; but for the men who bathed, blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower compared to the men who exercised. In case there is any doubt, yes, this is a legitimate excuse to skip the gym. You're welcome.
The process happening here — burning calories in the tub — has a name: passive heating. While exercise makes you hot and sweaty from physical movement, passive heating happens when a hot and humid environment makes you sweat without having to lift a finger.
This might be the best way to stay in shape, like, ever.
Tread carefully, though: It's important to remember that when you lose weight from sweating, the majority of this is water weight. It can leave you dehydrated, and you'll need to replenish with water. Furthermore, during fitness, your body benefits much more from movement, not from dripping sweat.
Even if trying to up your calorie expenditure isn't on your agenda, there are still many benefits to sweating. It can boost endorphins, detoxify your body, lower your risk of kidney stones, reduce acne, and help prevent colds and other illnesses. That right there is enough reason to grab your rubber ducky and enjoy a nice, long bath.
Maybe baths aren't your thing. I get it. At 5'9", my body doesn't even fit in the standard tub. You can still enjoy the benefits of passive heating from hot tubs, jacuzzis, saunas, and steam rooms. Just take care not to overdo it — too much passive heating can backfire when you're not careful!
Happy heating, readers.