If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, you’ve probably heard about the magic number: 10,000 steps a day — about five miles!
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, such as going for a brisk walk.
But what if you could burn the same amount of calories from the comfort of your bathtub? It may be possible…
Health benefits of passive heating
In small study of 14 men, researchers at Loughborough University in the U.K. found that soaking in a hot bath for an hour burned about 140 calories, which is nearly as many calories burned in a half-hour walk.
As reported in The Conversation, there’s at least some evidence that relaxing in a hot bath may help control blood sugar and reduce chronic inflammation, a common issue for people with type 2 diabetes.
This isn’t the first time passive heating has been studied. In his findings, Dr. Steve Faulkner of Loughborough University said other studies have shown that types of passive heating can reduce cardiovascular diseases.
Here’s the bottom line: Researchers aren’t suggesting that anyone give up healthy eating or exercise in favor of simply soaking in a hot bathtub — but, a nice hot bath does have its benefits.
The health benefits of walking
Brisk walking is a great way to get in your daily exercise! The Mayo Clinic lists these benefits:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
• Strengthen your bones and muscles
• Improve your mood
• Improve your balance and coordination
If you have back issues, holding on to the handles of the treadmill can help you get your steps in while keeping the extra pressure off your back.
People with certain health conditions may not be able to walk for 30 minutes a day, or even much at all, which is why researchers want passive heating to be studied more thoroughly.