Can a Warm Bath Seriously Replace Your Workout?

Researchers compared the effects of a hot bath to exercise, and the findings will surprise you.

Can a Warm Bath Seriously Replace Your Workout?

There's nothing like a hot bath, especially after a kick-ass workout. Light a few candles, queue up some mellow tunes, add some bubbles, grab a glass of wine, and that bath just became a straight-up luxury. (You could also try one of these DIY baths the #ShapeSquad swears by.) It turns out that a hot bath can burn calories and help lower blood sugar, much like exercise, according to new research published in the journal Temperature.

Exercise physiologist Steve Faulkner, Ph.D., and his team studied 14 men to see how a hot bath affects blood sugar and calorie burn. The findings? An hour-long bath burned approximately 140 calories in each person, which is about the same number of cals someone would burn during a half-hour walk. What's more, peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when people took a hot bath compared to when they exercised.

While this research is definitely interesting, it's still no excuse to skip your workout. Just think of all the other benefits you'd miss out on! We know exercise protects against certain diseases, increases life span, and builds lean muscle, among about a billion other benefits. Also keep in mind that the sample size was 14 adults-all male adults. Faulkner hopes to conduct a similar study on women soon. But hey, we'll take any excuse to linger in the tub a little longer come #selfcareSunday.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles