Hallelujah! There is now a way to relax and burn calories at the same time! For all of you moms and dads out there who are short on time and can’t quite get to the gym (or don’t want to after a long day of work and chauffeuring your kids from one activity to the next), you have another option. The catch is that you somehow have to find an hour to yourself. If you can, lock yourself in the bathroom, light some candles, and get out the bubble bath. New research has shown that taking a nice, long, hot bath can be as beneficial to your health as a grueling run. Relaxing never felt so good!
According to Parents, an hour-long bath (at 104 degrees Fahrenheit) can burn as many calories as a half-hour walk. Not bad. But it turns out that there are even more benefits than passively undoing a few bites of last night’s Ben & Jerry’s.
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.
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, this study doesn’t mean that you should avoid exercise altogether because as tough as it can be sometimes, it still has enormous health benefits. But what it does mean is that you can escape to your bubbly happy place for an hour and perhaps feel a little less guilty. You’ll be healing your mind, body, and soul. Just make sure the kids know not to bother you during your passive workout!