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New study claims taking a hot bath is the equivalent calorie-wise of a 30-min walk

If you’d rather be soaking in a hot bath than getting your cardio in with a walk around the block, you might be in luck. According to People Bodies, taking a hot soak could burn some serious calories, all while you enjoy the latest novel from the comfort of your own home.

Researchers at Loughborough University wanted to see what would happen when they raised the core body temperature by one degree. Participants took a one-hour bath in water at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They also rode a bicycle for one hour. Some of the results weren’t terribly surprising: the participants burned more calories riding the bicycle. However, researchers did discover that soaking in a hot bath for an hour burned 130 calories: the equivalent of taking a 30-minute walk.

Before you grab your favorite book and head for a soak, check out a few other benefits of relaxing in some hot bubbles:

1. Get more sleep

Add a little lavender oil to the bath water and prepare yourself for a cozy night between the sheets. Have you ever gone swimming and then felt exhausted afterward? One reason: major changes in the body temperature. The same thing happens when you take a bath, according to Natural Sleep Medicine. The energy your body uses to bring get back to room temperature will make it easier to conk out.

2. Ease sinus pain

Colds (and allergies) are the worst! You can ease cold and allergy symptoms by taking a load off and soaking in the hot water. Keep the door closed and let the steam build up to loosen mucus. Primarily Inspired also recommends adding some bath salts to the water for extra cold-busting power.

3. Improve blood flow

Resting on your laurels in a hot bath can improve blood circulation. Not only is this great for sore muscles, but it can increase blood flow to the brain too! Don’t have time for a bath? Sip on some hot tea for similar results.

4. Ease sore muscles