GREENSBORO, N.C. — VERIFY QUESTION
Does taking a bath burn as many calories as walking? That's what a new British study claims. Before we ditch our tennis shoes, we VERIFY.
- Dr. Chris Christakos - sports medicine doctor at Novant health
- British study
A study from the National Center for Sports and Exercise Medicine and Loughborough University in England suggests relaxing in a hot bath can improve health in multiple ways -- by decreasing chronic inflammation, controlling blood sugar and preventing type two diabetes. And, it can burn as many calories as getting up and going for a walk around the block.
The study did, indeed, conclude a 30-minute walk and an hour-long soak in the tub burned the same calories. But, the study tested a bath at 40 degrees Celsius, which is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The average bath temperature is around 99 degrees, or two degrees more than normal body temperature.
Dr. Christakos noted the hot temperature in the study.
"There is still definitely an advantage to exercise, even over taking a hot bath at that very hot temperature. You will strengthen and improve flexibility and aerobic capacity with exercise, and you won't with a hot bath."
The study is true but with a caveat -- the really hot bath water. Your bath should not be hotter than two degrees above body temperature. And, overall, there's nothing that equates to real exercise.
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