I am sure you’ve heard about the findings of a recent study. It’s all over the news and Facebook.

Taking a hot bath can burn as many calories as walking…..

Seriously? I wish I’d known that before I spent a small fortune on sneakers made specifically for walking. My son’s wedding is next month, so I am trying to shape up a bit. And, summer is right around the corner. That means beaching and boating  and a bathing suit!  Plus, I just received a Fitbit Charge 2 for my birthday (I asked for one) that keeps telling me I need to take 10,000 steps a day.  Today, I’ve taken 62 steps so far. From my office to my coffee pot and back. But it’s only 6:52 AM. Incidentally, 10,000 steps a day is A LOT! I’m pretty active but I have yet to reach my goal. I really need to step up my game. But then again, maybe not. Perhaps all I need to do is soak in the tub more often. Sounds good to me.

I mean, come on! If an hour long soothing soak burns as many calories as walking, which would you choose?

If you chose to walk, I applaud you. Me? I force myself to get out there and walk because I know I have to, but a soak in a tub? So soothing and relaxing. I’d fill up the bathtub every night, if I could find the time. If a bath really does burn as many calories as walking, I’d make the time. It does sound too good to be true, though. Right? And it is. Sort of…….

Okay. So here’s the “skinny” on burning calories while soaking in the tub:  

Steve Faulkner, Ph.D, an exercise physiologist at Loughborough University, led a study which was recently published in the journal Temperature. Faulkner looked at the link between taking a hot bath, a person’s blood sugar, and how many calories they burned. He conducted this study on 14 men (some of whom were overweight) and discovered that taking a hot bath burns about 140 calories per hour. The baths also lowered the men’s peak blood sugar after they ate by about 10 percent more than exercising did.

Impressive discovery, but don’t swap your walk or your daily work-out for a bubble bath just yet. Your body is always burning calories, even when you’re just sitting around on your butt. The amount of calories you burn during certain activities varies depending on a few factors, including your weight and body composition.

That study? It was done on men.  And, some of them were overweight, so it’s likely that they’d burn more calories in the bath than an average-sized woman.  So you might not even burn 140 calories in the tub. 

Regardless, even if you only burned 95 calories after an hour in the tub – that’s the equivalent of a Michelob Ultra. However, you can burn that off and then some so much faster by walking, lifting weights, hopping on the elliptical or some other sort of exercise. And….sitting in the tub won’t make you fit and firm or strengthen your muscles. A nice hot bath after your workout will help soothe your aching muscles, though.  It will also help to reduce stress because a bath is so relaxing. Stress causes weight gain or makes it difficult to lose weight. And, your “heath shock proteins,” the proteins that are produced by your cells in response to stressful conditions, can become elevated during passive heating, like when you’re taking a hot bath. These proteins may help the function of insulin and improve blood sugar control. If your blood sugar stays even and controlled, you’re less likely to suffer from blood sugar crashes which will you make you feel hungry—and more likely to overeat.

So there you have it. You should definitely add a relaxing bath to your self-care ritual as often as you can.  Light candles. Listen to music. You’ll will be relieving stress and regulating your blood sugar, which, in turn, can help with weight loss, but don’t count on burning too much in the way of calories.. A bath is wonderful, but it won’t work miracles. If better health or weight loss is your goal, you’ve got pay attention to the foods you eat and move your body!

And now it’s time for my morning walk. Catch you later.

Yours in happiness, health and success,