Recently, hot baths made the news as a study proclaimed that they were just as good as exercise. This, of course, sent people into a tizzy about losing weight by relaxing in a tub filled with hot water. Would that were the case; however, there are additional benefits that can contribute to weight loss. If you're considering adding a hot tub because of the original claim, keep reading; there could still be a benefit.
The Claim: That Hot Baths Are Like Walking
The study in question put a small group of men through a soaking-bath regimen that had them sit in hot water for an hour. The study was supposed to look at blood-sugar control, but researchers found that the men in the tub also burned calories equivalent to what they said was walking for a half hour. So that sounds wonderful, right?
That's Not Quite True
However, the study pegged that caloric amount at 140, which Glamour called the equivalent of running for only a few minutes. Plus, soaking doesn't really increase your muscle strength or aerobic fitness. And the study was only on men, so for women, the effect might not be the same. So now it's sounding not so good, right?
Stress Relief Is a Consideration
Whether or not the study results could be extrapolated out to fit most of society, one thing is for sure: Soaking in a hot tub is excellent for stress relief. The warm water is soothing, like being wrapped in a soft blanket. This stress relief could actually reduce your tendency to eat emotionally, which in turn could lead to weight loss. And, if your stress level goes down, that can reduce your body's production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.
Soaking in a hot tub also may soothe achy joints, making it easier for you to move overall, and contributing to your ability to get out and exercise. There are also other health benefits like lowered blood pressure and lowered blood sugar, all reducing factors that could make you retain weight or eat emotionally.
So while the initial study might not be the weight loss magic that everyone hoped it would be, soaking in a hot tub can still have very beneficial effects that could lead to weight loss. Everyone is different when it comes to weight, but one thing is for sure for most people: Soaking in a hot tub is super-relaxing.
Consider energy efficient hot tubs when searching for the right kind of tub for you.