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Can I Burn Calories While Relaxing?

Bathtub

When it comes to calorie consumption and losing weight in the water, most people will probably think of swimming or aqua fitness first. But you can also burn calories and thus body fat when you take a bath in the tub. We explain what happens in the body.

There are many pleasant ways to lose weight effectively. Just think of an autumn hike in beautiful nature or the intimate meeting of two lovers. Even kissing consumes calories – and is fun at the same time. What they all have in common is the movement of the muscles, which in combination with an increased heart rate provides the slimming effect. Now a scientist claims that it is also possible without any movement at all. Simply taking a hot bath is enough. And the relaxing bath should even have the same effect as half an hour of walking or slow jogging.

Combining the pleasant with the useful

Especially when it is cold and wet outside, i.e. in the darker months of the year, such a hot bath is something great. It relaxes muscles that were previously tensed or over acidified by sitting at a desk for too long or by a workout in the gym. Now we bask in the foam and feel much more comfortable afterward. The warmth of the water also reduces the muscle soreness that can be expected after a demanding workout.

But that’s only the pleasant part, the useful part is described by Doctor Steve Faulkner from Nottingham Trent University in England: “A one-hour bath in water heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit increases energy consumption by 80 percent. The consumption of about 140 calories corresponds to about 30 minutes of fast walking.

What causes energy consumption to increase when taking a bath?
The tests in hot water were carried out as part of a research project at Nottingham Trent University. They could just as well have been conducted in the sauna, the effect would have been the same, explains Dr. Faulkner. The experiments examined the effect of external heat on the body’s metabolism. The main focus was on the blood sugar level. It is the decisive factor in the assessment of a healthy metabolism, says an article on “bbc.com” in which the study was reported. Body temperature was also measured. This rises during the hot bath: we sweat. The body then cools down to normal temperature and stimulates the metabolism. This causes calories to be burned.

Bathing lowers blood sugar

Dr. Faulkner’s tests showed that the bath lowered the blood sugar level more than it did during a sweaty hour on the stationary bike, for example. “We were very surprised by this result,” the researcher assures us. So: good news for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes or other metabolic diseases. On average, blood glucose levels after a meal are ten percent lower after a long, hot bath compared to an hour of vigorous pedaling on a stationary bike.

Bathing helps with inflammation

In another study by students from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University in England, it was found that a hot bath is also good for inflammation in the body. After a two-week phase of daily bathing, during which the entire body had to remain in the 102-degree hot water for one hour, not only the positive effect on the blood sugar level was shown, but also slight inflammation values. Which should not remain unmentioned: The test persons were overweight and had problems with exercising.

Why a hot bath cannot replace sport

Doctor Faulkner does not want the results of his study to be understood in the sense that a hot bath could replace an hour of exercise. The study is more concerned with people who suffer from high blood sugar levels and who cannot do sports for medical or health reasons, explains the expert in exercise and environmental physiology. To all others, he recommends moderate endurance and weight training for half an hour or 150 minutes per week. Because, according to Faulkner, exercise, especially in the fresh air, is naturally more important for keeping the body healthy than a hot bath or a sauna.

Alternative to a hot bath: leisurely swimming

For people who cannot or do not want to lie down in the hot tub for an hour, for example, because they have low blood pressure, slow swimming may be more suitable for losing weight in a reasonably relaxed manner. On the one hand, it is easy on the joints, and on the other hand, the water in the pool is cool, so you have to move around. If you swim slowly to moderately for 30 minutes you will consume 250 to 300 calories, which is about twice as much as if you were walking fast or in a hot tub. The only important thing is not to eat a portion of fries right away if you really want to lose weight…

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