Note: Adding candles and a good book does not necessarily contribute to weight loss

The health benefits of a long soak in the tub after a hard day are already widely appreciated.

Brilliant for easing muscle tension, clearing out sinuses and helping stressed out bodies to relax and unwind, bath time is our favourite time of the day. But new research suggests that it’s also pretty beneficial alongside your gym routine, burning as many calories as a 30-minute walk.

So next time you swap your evening run for a hot bath, don’t feel too guilty about it…

The research comes from Dr Steve Faulkner, a researcher at Loughborough University, who’s been looking into how ‘passive heating’ can have a positive effect on your body. 

Dr Faulkner and his team have investigated the effect a hot bath has on blood sugar control and the number of calories burned. 14 participants enjoyed an hour-long soak in a bath run at 40 degrees, and also headed out on an hour’s cycle.

While languishing in the tub didn’t burn quite as many cals as an intensive cycling sesh, the research did conclude that a hot bath burns 130 cals – the same amount as a brisk 30-minute 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 reported.

He went on to say that passive heating might also be handy in reducing chronic inflammation in conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Now let’s be clear. A bath-a-day is no way near enough to keep fit and healthy. You’ll need regular cardio, a balanced diet and plenty of sleep for that. But enjoying some time in the tub as well clearly doesn’t do any harm…

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