Nothing beats a hot bath in the winter. Which is why it may come as good news that a recent study shows that soaking in a bath for a half an hour can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk.
Before you throw in the towel on your gym membership, it’s important to understand what a hot soak will and will not do for you.
First of all, yes, their rate of burning calories was elevated. But it’s not as promising as it sounds. The men in the study used up an additional 61 calories an hour while soaking in a hot bath. However, the research does suggest that hot baths can help with blood sugar and insulin control. That’s something that can keep your blood sugar from crashing (prompting you to give in to cravings and gorge on snacks).
Bottom line? A hot bath may be somewhat better than nothing when it’s too cold and blustery to make it to the gym. Think of those extra calories burned as a small bonus to the many other benefits of a nice hot bath, like relaxed muscles and relieved stress.
If you do partake, do it safely. Have a glass of water beforehand to ensure you stay hydrated. When you’re done, rise slowly — feeling lightheaded when standing can be a side effect. (Eating a light and healthy snack beforehand may help.) Measure the bath’s temperature before stepping in. Most experts say no more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit is safe.
Finally, hot baths can leech natural oils from your skin. Keep a container of your favorite lotion handy so you can apply it while your skin is still damp to seal in moisture.
For the ultimate bath experience, the SETTE Double Towel Stand from Better Living will keep your plush towels neatly stored and within arms reach.