Running yourself a piping hot bath, getting it all bubbly, maybe even treating yourself a bath bomb, and getting in the tub for a nice relax is definitely one of the finer things in life.
Even more so if you've got a bathroom with a nice convenient shelf nearby for you to store a bottle of Prosecco on!
But what we didn't realise is that aside from just being a lovely, relaxing experience, taking a bath is actually seriously good for your health and it can help you lose weight.
That's according to new research from Loughborough University who were investigating the effects of 'passive heating' on the human body. It's a relatively new field of research which looks into whether external sources like taking a bath, or being out and about on a hot day, can have an impact on the body in a similar manner to exertive exercise.
According to this research, it can.
The researchers measured the effect that taking a bath can have on blood sugar control, which is an important measure of metabolic fitness, as well as calories burned. The subjects in the experiment had their blood sugar measured before bathing and for 24 hours after and this helped researchers work out how many calories that an hour-long bath could burn. They could then compare this data to the subjects' blood sugar levels before and after exercise to see the comparative effect of bathing.
Writing in Discovery Magazine, Steve Faulkner explained some of the science behind the process:
We recruited 14 men to take part in the study. They were assigned to an hour-long soak in a hot bath (40˚C) or an hour of cycling. The activities were designed to cause a 1˚C rise in core body temperature over the course of one hour...... Cycling resulted in more calories being burned compared with a hot bath, but bathing resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk (around 140 calories).
So it seems that a bath won't totally cancel out your need to go to the gym, but it is better than just sitting around doing nothing at all! Interesting!
What do you reckon? Is this a good enough excuse to skip the gym and have a bath this evening? Sound off in the comments!
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