If you’d rather be soaking in a hot bath than getting your cardio in with a walk around the block, you might be in luck. According to People Bodies, taking a hot soak could burn some serious calories, all while you enjoy the latest novel from the comfort of your own home.
Researchers at Loughborough University wanted to see what would happen when they raised the core body temperature by one degree. Participants took a one-hour bath in water at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They also rode a bicycle for one hour. Some of the results weren’t terribly surprising: the participants burned more calories riding the bicycle. However, researchers did discover that soaking in a hot bath for an hour burned 130 calories: the equivalent of taking a 30-minute walk.
Before you grab your favorite book and head for a soak, check out a few other benefits of relaxing in some hot bubbles:
1. Get more sleep
Add a little lavender oil to the bath water and prepare yourself for a cozy night between the sheets. Have you ever gone swimming and then felt exhausted afterward? One reason: major changes in the body temperature. The same thing happens when you take a bath, according to Natural Sleep Medicine. The energy your body uses to bring get back to room temperature will make it easier to conk out.
2. Ease sinus pain
Colds (and allergies) are the worst! You can ease cold and allergy symptoms by taking a load off and soaking in the hot water. Keep the door closed and let the steam build up to loosen mucus. Primarily Inspired also recommends adding some bath salts to the water for extra cold-busting power.
3. Improve Blood Flow
Resting on your laurels in a hot bath can improve blood circulation. Not only is this great for sore muscles, but it can increase blood flow to the brain too! Don’t have time for a bath? Sip on some hot tea for similar results.
4. Ease sore muscles
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or an extra-difficult workout session, a hot bath is a great way to find relief. The hot water will ease tightened muscles and increase blood flow (reducing lactic acid buildup). Add in the simple pleasure of soaking in the hot water and you have magic. Medical News Today said that heat therapy (like a hot bath) is a very effective option for patients with chronic joint pain too.
5. Improve Breathing
Not only is a hot bath helpful when the nose is clogged, taking a hot bath can actually improve lung function. The warm water places pressure on your chest and can force your oxygen intake to improve. You should soak in chest deep water for the best results, according to the National Library of Medicine.
The next time you’re feeling a little guilty for soaking in the tub while the kids take a nap, kick that guilt to the curb and remind yourself you’re doing it for your health!
Make sure to share these health benefits with your friends on Facebook to encourage a little relaxation time.