Does burning calories while laying around sound too good to be true? Well a new study says it is not too good to be true.
It sounds like a late-night infomercial pitch:”You can burn calories as you sit in the bathtub!”
However, according to a new study, this claim could have merit. A current small-sample study by Britain’s Loughborough University looked at the effects of a hot bath on energy expenditure and blood sugar management.
Fourteen men were recruited to soak for one hour at a 104-degree bathroom, and cycle for one hour. Cycling, as you may anticipate, burned more calories. However, bathing expended 140 calories — about the same as walking for half an hour.
It also lowered peak blood glucose after eating by roughly 10 per cent, the same as biking. The analysis, published this year, also indicates that hot baths and other forms of”passive heating,” for example saunas, may decrease inflammation.
That finding has been backed up lately in other, larger studies too.But a caveat: Since The Atlantic noted shortly after the study came out, maybe not all calories are created equal; 200 calories of spinach is a whole lot easier for people than 200 calories of candy, and exercise has advantages beyond the obvious calorie numbers.
“Calories lull us into this sort of complacent bartering. They give us a false sense of safety that we can do harmful things provided that we zero out the balance,” wrote James Hamblin, a senior editor for the magazine.
“Though perhaps that kind of belief system, however flawed, has a calming influence. Like a tub.”