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Science Says Taking a Hot Bath Burns as Many Calories as Exercising (Yes!)

We predict the newest exercise trend will involve “passing heating” AKA chillin’ in a relaxing bath. With bubbles, of course.

woman relaxing in bubble bath Goran Boglcevic/Shutterstock
Good news, fellow lazy moms of the world: New research finds that taking a hot bath may be as beneficial for one’s health as a grueling, sweaty, uncomfortable run.

According to Dr. Steve Faulkner from Loughborough University, a relaxing soak offers similar benefits to exercising, and not just for the mind; a bubbly bath sesh may even prevent type 2 diabetes as well as other diseases.

For the study, Dr. Faulkner looked at 14 people who indulged in an hour-long bath at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and also endured an hour-long bike ride. The bike ride burned more calories, but bath time was equivalent to a half-hour walk in terms of calories charred.

Dr. Faulkner said the overall blood sugar response to both exercise and the soak were similar, and added, “but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.” He also suggested that so-called “passive heating” may help reduce inflammation associated with a host of conditions.

Of course, the benefits of exercise are still indisputable. But anyway, if you need me, I’ll be in the bath, “working out.”

In other good news, researchers recently linked spending time at the beach to increased mental benefits. Sounds like relaxing is the key to a happy, healthy life!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and soon-to-be mom of 4. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.