Hot Baths Burn Calories Like Exercise, Say Your New Favorite Scientists

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There are not enough hours in the day to finish everything that needs to get done. But there’s a bit of good news from the world of science, where researchers indicate that hot, relaxing baths burn calories and have health benefits akin to those from exercising.

I’m going to make a cake for these scientists. Then they can eat it and burn off the cake with a nice hot bubble bath.

According to House Beautiful,  researchers from Loughborough University studied the effects of hot baths and exercise on blood sugar. They only looked at 14 people, but they had those people enjoy an hour-long soak in 104-degree water and also go out for an hour’s bike ride.

The bike ride did burn a lot more calories than the soak in the tub, but lead researcher Dr. Steve Faulkner says an hour in the bath burned about as many calories as a half-hour walk.

“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,” Dr. Faulkner reports.

Faulkner says this is important news because the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise are important to bodily health and to our immune systems. He says his findings suggest that repetitive, passive heating–like in a hot bath–can help with chronic inflammation that is present in long-term diseases, like type-2 diabetes, and that there could be significant health benefits to repetitive passive heating like that.

Faulkner’s findings aren’t saying that we can all just take hot baths instead of exercising, but I’m taking this as scientific proof that I get to be left alone for a hot bath now. For science.