Millions of people complain that they do not get enough exercise or physical activity during the day. Most of them say they are too tired when they arrive home from work to do anything strenuous.
However, is anyone ever too tired or too busy to enjoy a nice, long, warm, and soothing bath? And what if we told you that an hour spent in a hot bath can burn as many calories as a half an hour spent walking?
In 2016, Dr. Faulkner analyzed healthy and obese men who either did 60 minutes of moderate cycling or bathed in 104°F water.
The ones who bathed burned 79% more calories than they would have if they spent the time sitting on the couch, while the ones biking burned 750% more calories than when at rest.
Even though exercise is the best way to lose weight and shape up, bathing accelerates metabolism too and can be of great help to people who are tired or feel muscle pain.
Despite burning calories, bathing offers other health benefits as well. According to the Minneapolis-based dermatologist Bailey Lee, MD:
“Although very few of the claims for healing baths are backed by rigorous scientific studies, the anecdotal evidence for their efficacy is abundant.”
The same study conducted by Dr.Faulkner showed that baths around meal times can also lower blood sugar levels and control spikes in blood pressure as well.
Additionally, a 2015 study that involved 2315 middle-aged men showed that those who spent more time in the sauna had an increased risk of heart disease, fatal coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death, and all-cause mortality.
Even though saunas are not the same as baths, they offer the same conditions and thus have similar effects.
Another 2008 study found that elderly patients who soaked in mineral water for half an hour daily reduced their osteoarthritis or chronic back pain.
The psychologist Neil Morris claims that bathing can reduce depression and pessimism:
“Baths give you a wonderful combination of isolation, quiet, and comfort. It gives us connotations of being in the womb, and it is very comforting.”
Similarly, Dr. John Harcup, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee for the British Spa Foundation, says:
“Overall, bathing induces feelings of comfort and easiness, and that kind of security allows your mind, and subsequently your body, to relax.”
There are many reasons why we enjoy hot showers so much as well. They support our health in numerous ways, as they:
- Lower stress and treat insomnia, since the hot water is a natural sedative.
- Hot showers boost blood circulation and thus loosen the muscles, tissues, tendons, and joints, and relieve pain, muscle tension, and stiffness.
- The hot water and steam opens the pores.
- The steam loosens mucus and phlegm and thus relieves coughs and a sore throat.
Baths offer the same benefits as showers in terms of the favorable effects of steam and hot water. For some added benefits, you can add epsom salts and essential oils to the water.
Don’t be afraid to take some time to enjoy yourself. Fill the bath at the end of the day! It is always an unforgettable experience.