Does Yoga Actually Count As A Workout?

If you’re like me, going to the gym is as rare as a monogamous Kardashian couple: it just doesn’t happen. The main reason I don’t go to the gym, though (aside from being a lazy piece of sh*t), is that I’m terribly embarrassed by my lack of athletic ability. Three minutes on a treadmill and I’m heaving over the garbage can. And don’t even try me with weights. I’d be lucky to get five pounds off the ground. And SoulCycle? I nearly crapped my pants doing that. Never again. But, admittedly, I do need some form of physical movement in my life. It’s pretty upsetting that I can’t go up a flight of stairs without feeling faint. I am told that’s like, bad for you?

Basically, I need a workout that won’t make me super short of breath, which led me to yoga. I mean sure, yoga can be hard (especially if you’re sweating all your water weight out in a 94-degree studio), but it doesn’t kill me the same way that a Barry’s Bootcamp class would. Which made me wonder: is it too good to be true? Can I do yoga every day and still get the summer body I’ve been putting off working on since…summer 2014? I spoke to personal trainer and owner of Frame Fitness in Toronto, Melissa Bentivoglio, about whether or not we can trust yoga as a main form of exercise.

Is Yoga A Real Workout?

Yes, but it’s not as simple as that. The point of Yoga is to focus your energy on specific tasks, poses, and flows. According to Bentivoglio, different types of Yoga work your body in specific ways. “The forms of Yoga can vary from physically demanding and vigorous Power Yoga to meditative and Restorative Yoga.”

For example, in a Vinyasa class, if it is instructed in a rhythmic, continuous, and intense fashion, Bentivoglio notes, “it can certainly elevate the heart rate to be considered a form of aerobic exercise.” In slower-paced Yoga classes, though, Bentivoglio says, “there could be more focus on holding isometric poses, which focus more on strength building.” These are examples of less traditional cardio workout circuits, but nonetheless, still a form of exercise.

How Can You Make The Most Of Yoga As A Workout?

So apparently lying in child’s pose and napping meditating for an hour doesn’t really make the most of utilizing Yoga as a workout. Who would’ve thought? Bentivoglio suggests taking classes based on what you would like to focus on. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing. All components of yoga can benefit your health. “Strength training is a key component of health and fitness. Building lean muscle mass helps burn more calories at rest, even if you are not perspiring profusely. Cardio is also an important form of exercise as it improves cardiovascular health,” says Bentivoglio.

Even if you’re not profusely sweating, you’re still getting a lot out of your time. If you want to take a cardio-centric route, that will help benefit your heart health. Pick the type of class that focuses on a part of your body or health that you really want to improve on. Yoga isn’t a fix-all sort of exercise (does that even exist?) and it takes time to work out each part of your body through a variety of flows and methods.

What Is The Most Common Myth About Yoga?

“The most common myth is that you have to be flexible to do it,” says Bentivoglio. If you’re like me and can’t touch your toes, this is a huge relief. “Some forms of Yoga require a greater amount of stamina and power than they do flexibility. But the benefit overall of Yoga is that the more you keep at it, the more flexible you’ll feel yourself become,” she adds.

It won’t happen all at once, so don’t try to do the splits when you’re six shots deep and really want to show off—you’ll just end up with ripped pants and a torn ACL. Patience is key, which is f*cking annoying, because who likes to wait for anything nowadays, but I guess that’s better than the StairMaster, so I’ll take it.

How Can Beginners Get Started?

First, you need to identify what you want to achieve. Pick an end goal, and then find the types of Yoga that help you best work towards that. It doesn’t need to be the same thing every week, but finding a routine and pattern will reap the benefits much quicker. Bentivoglio explains, “if one would like to start doing Yoga to alleviate stress and anxiety, meditative Yoga could help by calming the mind by combining poses with breathing and mantras.”

Meditative combines breathing with calming poses and mantras. If flexibility and strength are your goals, hot Yoga could be a good place to start. If you’re looking to just start with the basics and then find your footing, Hatha Yoga is the way to go. Overall, beginners should start off slow then build their way up to more high-intensity classes like Vinyasa.

What Are Some Apps For Practicing Yoga?

If you’re like me and still having some anxiety about actually being in a room with other people, apps are super useful. Here are some of Melissa’s favorites for different types of flows:

Pocket Yoga: Good for beginners who want to practice yoga and learn new poses. There are also pre-set flows that you can try out.
Universal Breathing: A fantastic app that helps you focuses on breathing. It’s a great way to alleviate stress, headaches, and lower blood pressure, among other things.
Asana Rebel: Provides Yoga workouts that incorporate both strength training and cardio-based poses and flows. Their sessions can last about 30 minutes and are structured in a very effective and fun way.

So it seems like, yes, Yoga can be a legit workout, provided you are realistic about what you want out of a class and you choose the right class based on your fitness goals.

Images: Yayan Sopian / Unsplash; showerthoughts /; betchesluvthis / Twitter

Pilates Moves For Lean Legs And A Toned Ass

If you are anything like me, you like the IDEA of going to a Pilates class, but you don’t actually like GOING to a Pilates class. Because let’s be honest, half-assing it on the elliptical while watching The Great British Baking Show/dreaming about all the desserts you deserve now that you have worked out is a way more enjoyable use of time. For reals though, how would I ever keep up with my shows if workout hours were not also show-watching hours? But if you are also like me and bought a NYE dress pre-holiday weight gain that would look way better if your legs were a little leaner and your ass a lot more toned, then it might be time to suck it up and give these Pilates moves a try (btw you can totally do them in front of your TV while binge watching Riverdale on Netflix):

1. Basic Bridge

This is a great warm-up and also something every child did during baby gymnastics. Lay on your back with your head closest to the TV with your legs hip-width apart, knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Use your abs (cuz we all have those) to lift your pelvis off the ground towards the ceiling until you can feel that shit burn in your hamstrings and glutes. Kind of like you’re pelvic thrusting the air. Hold for one minute or until your next bathroom break.


2. Kneeling Leg Lift

Facing the television now, get on your hands and knees (but not in a gross way). Keeping your weight on your forearms and knees, lift one leg straight up behind you in a 90-degree angle so your heel is facing towards the ceiling. Repeat with each leg for 30 seconds or until your popcorn is ready.

Kneeling Leg Lift

3. Side Lying Lifts

Lay on your side and support your head with your bottom arm (best to time this exercise with a particularly juicy scene, because it will put you in ready-for-drama position). Stretch out your legs with the bottom leg slightly bent, and your top leg straight at about hip height. Lift the top leg about two feet in the air and lower back to hip height. Repeat 20 times on each side while reaching for popcorn with your extra hand.

Leg Lifts

4. Heal Beats

Not conducive to TV watching, so save this one for in between episodes. Lie on your stomach with your head on your forearms and your legs straight out behind you. Lift your abs (yup, still got ‘em) away from the mat/floor, lengthening your spine. Keeping your thighs together and your abs tight, lift your legs off the floor and pull them slightly apart and then back together again at the heels. “There’s no place like home” it 20 times, then rest and repeat until your cell phone buzzes. 

Heel Beats

5. Wall Squat Rolls

This last one will get you on your feet and in ready position to answer the door when Seamless arrives. Stand up against a wall with a Pilates ball behind the center of your back. Kick your feet out about a foot from the wall and slowly roll down the ball into a squat position—not letting your knees go out past your ankles. Slowly roll back up and repeat 20 times or until the doorbell rings. 

Wall Squat Roll

Read: 6 Back And Shoulder Exercises To Trim Your Waist
6 Mistakes You’re Making At Workout Class That Are Sabotaging Your Workout

There are some topics that just sweep the American nation and suddenly become all anyone talks about. Kylie’s pregnancy. Game of Thrones. The new La Croix flavors. And of course, the trendiest workout classes. If you’re not part of the convo, it’s awkward. Fitness classes are becoming more popular by the second, and betches are flocking towards them like the birds flying south for winter. With so many newbies in all these classes, you’re probably doing a lot of shit wrong. I mean, the trainers at most of these studios are usually legit, but they aren’t watching your every move, so you could be screwing up without realizing. Here are 6 mistakes you’re making in your workout class.

1. Using The Lightest Weights Available

We know most spin classes only offer one- and two-pound weights, but right now we’re talking about classes that have a strength training component, not only cardio. If you’re taking any sort of HIIT training class with weights or a circuit-based class, you need to be challenging yourself with the weights you use, or else you’re wasting your time and money. It makes sense to grab the lightest weights if you’re a total newbie, but if you’ve come a handful of times and haven’t changed your weights yet, your body will plateau and you’ll stop seeing results. Grab a weight that’s hard enough but not too heavy that you’ll literally injure yourself after one squat. Like, the goal is to be sore tomorrow. Not crippled.

Nicki Minaj Anaconda

2. Doing The Moves Too Fast

This is a huge problem in basically every single class, whether you’re doing pilates, barre, yoga, HIIT, or boxing. Even if the class is supposed to be high-intensity, a lot of the exercises are actually more effective if you do them slower and really control the movement. We’re talking about exercises like bicycle crunches, pulsing squats, dumbbell rows, and plank dips. If you’re not feeling the muscle you’re supposed to be working, you’re going too fast and you need to chill. Not every part of class has to be your fastest sprint, so try to actually think about the muscle you’re working, and SLOW DOWN to really feel the burn. By rushing through the movements, you’re totally defeating the purpose of the workout.

3. Putting Pressure On Your Knees

A lot of classes do lower-body leg work, and that’s when your form actually matters. A lot. Whether you’re looking to strengthen, tone, burn, grow—or whatever the hell they’re selling you on—you need to stop putting pressure on your knees. Doing exercises like squats and lunges can be super tough on your joints if your form is wrong, so make sure your knees are completely behind your feet during these movements, or else you’ll end up pressing down on the joint and hurting yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re using your heaviest weight or no weight at all. Your body weighs enough to strain your knee, so just take your time and fix your form before you do any damage. No one wants to tell people they got injured in a Tracy Anderson class.

Hurt Knee

4. Leaning Forward On The Treadmill

Treadmill classes have been huge lately, and it’s probably because everyone realized how boring the treadmill is when you don’t have someone yelling at you to speed up every 30 seconds. Classes like Barry’s Bootcamp and Mile High Run Club are effective and hard AF, but they don’t always correct your form when you’re running, so you need to take matters into our own hands. When you’re running on the treadmill, stop leaning forward and stop looking down. You’ll end up over striding, which means you’ll put unnecessary pressure on your hips and knees. Remember, your foot should be landing beneath you, not in front of you. Keep your core engaged and your posture straight and try to look forward. Oh, and please stop holding onto the sides. You’re literally cheating.

5. Giving Up When You Feel The Burn

This refers to any sort of endurance training, whether you’re burning your muscles in barre or doing a 60-minute spin class. Basically, when you put your body through an endurance workout, it’s tempting to give up when you get tired or your muscles start burning. What you don’t realize, however, is that the burn just means your body is being challenged in a way it’s not used to. It doesn’t mean you should stop squatting when your legs start shaking and you’re a little uncomfortable. Don’t be that girl who stands up in barre before the teacher says, “10 more seconds.” I mean, you’ve already paid $38 for this class, and an extra $12 for the special socks. Don’t ruin it for yourself.

Michael Scott This Is Going To Hurt

6. Not Warming Up & Not Stretching

People tend to think warming up before a workout and stretching afterwards is a friendly suggestion. Kind of like getting edamame with your sushi order—not necessary, but recommended to just round out the experience. Well, it’s not. If you don’t warm up before your workout, you could end up majorly injuring yourself and shocking your system. Your blood needs to start moving before the workout, whether that means doing some jumping jacks before class, jogging to the studio, or doing some arm circles in the locker room when no one’s looking. The stretch after class is even more important, considering the fact that you’ll be sore AF tomorrow. I know the shower line is long, but it’s literally like three more minutes of your time to stay through the stretching portion. You’ll thank yourself when you can get out of bed tomorrow. 

Read: How Many Calories You Really Burn At SoulCycle, Barre & Other Workout Classes
How To Tone Your Whole Body Without Getting Off Your Couch

Unfortunately, unless you’re sponsored by a sugar daddy, have won the lottery, or still live in mom’s basement, you’re probably working for a goddamn living. That translates to sitting for extended periods of time, being tempted by cupcakes, doughnuts, and questionable vending machine treats, and definitely gaining back those five pounds  you lost last summer. We shall overcome, and by overcome we mean “beat office obesity by exercising right in your office/cubicle/desk chair.” Yah, people may see you and think you’re losing it, but can you put a price on a six-pack you got while sitting and trolling through Pinterest? Probs not. Your boss will be super proud of how productive you are.

1. Seat Squeezes

Sounds weird and kind of is—while sitting at your desk, squeeze your butt, hold for like 10 seconds, and release. Repeat this shit until your ass is numb and your butt is like, sculpted and lifted.

2. Leg Raises

It’s not like you’re actually doing work, so it’s time to strengthen your core, bitch. While you’re sitting, straighten both legs and raise them slowly. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat this shit as many times as you can without noticeably sweating. You can even put a weight like a briefcase or your purse on top of your legs to up the ante.

3. Squats

Alright so they’re not as insane as the real thing, but doing “squats” at your desk will help get your heart actually moving and help to stave off those years of obesity coming for you as a result of sitting 10+ hours per day. From your chair, stand up, sit back down, and repeat like 20 times until someone walks by and decides you’re really fucking weird.

Stand Up

4. Shoulder Press

This will require finding something heavy, so get lookin’. Grab something that weighs like, 10-20 pounds (like your conscience, for instance) and hold it at shoulder length. Raise it over your head and back down for 12 reps three times or until your shoulders scream for mercy. Maybe save this one for when your coworkers are all on their lunch break so nobody calls the police.

5. Rolls

If you have a spinny rolly chair, congrats. Grab the edge of your desk with your hands, pull your feet off the floor, and pull yourself back and forth using your arms and core as many times as you can. 

6. Raises

Since you aren’t getting that 5% increase because of your attitude (WTF), try this raise instead (I kill myself with the jokes). Raise your legs up on to your chair in a cross-legged position. With your arms on the armrests, push up to raise your body off the seat. Stay that way for 20-30 seconds then release and rest. This is doubly hard in a spinny chair, so be fucking careful. 

READ: A Gym Routine Even Lazy People Can Stick To


7 Tips To Stay Motivated During Your Workout When It Feels Like Time Has Stopped Completely

So you might think the hardest part of working out is getting your ass to the gym, but once you get there, it suddenly occurs to you that you’re ready to bounce after five minutes. For some reason, gym time is just slow-mo. It’s boring AF. Like, if you’ve ever held a plank for one minute straight and wondered if you had somehow broken through the space-time continuum and stopped time completely, you’re not alone. I mean, it’s impossible to get in a solid workout if you spend the whole time staring at the clock and hoping you’ll get a phone call about some family emergency. We’ve compiled seven amazing tricks that will help you get through your sweat session without bailing as soon as you get bored, so give these a try.

1. Try Tabata Intervals

Time goes by so damn slow when you’re working out, so one major way to make you forget about the time is by doing short, 20-second sprints at your maximum intensity. High intensity training experts often use Tabata Intervals during their workouts, which sound like the name of some stripper in a run-down strip club in the midwest, but is actually a technique that’s been scientifically proven to help you burn calories after your workout’s already over. The idea is to pick an exercise and work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. By doing eight rounds, you’ll be dead AF by the end, but the actual sprints are so fast that you won’t even realize how hard your body is working. There are a million Tabata timer apps out there, so download one now because it’ll change your (gym) life.

The More You Know

2. Use A Ladder Format

Another popular training strategy is the ladder format. Basically, you pick an exercise, do one repetition, then two, then three, etc. Work up to 10 or 20 reps, and then make your way back down the ladder until you get to one again. You can even start at the highest number of reps and work downward if you’d rather start with the most reps. Either way, you’re basically tricking yourself into doing like, 100 burpees without counting one by one.

3. Do The Hardest Shit First

This trick sounds pretty intuitive, but a lot of people get to the gym and do the stuff they enjoy doing first. But that’s a trap because by the time you’re already tired and getting bored, there’s no way you’ll get around to doing the hard stuff at the end. By reversing that order, you’ll just end up finishing up your full workout because the easier/more enjoyable stuff is at the end. So, for example, if you hate sprints but love doing ab workouts (you psycho), get your sprints out of the way at the beginning and do your abs at the end. Works like a charm.


4. Be Smart About Your Playlist

We’ve already talked about the importance of a dope playlist when you’re working out, but sometimes it even helps to make your playlist strategically to make sure you’ll finish up your workout. When making your playlist, make sure the playlist is around the same length as you want your workout to be. If your playlist ends after 20 minutes, you’ll obviously want to bounce right after that, so don’t set yourself up for failure. Also, play your favorite songs LAST, so you’ll want to stick around to actually hear them. I mean, at that point you might be too sweaty and nauseous to appreciate “I’m The One”, but at least you stuck it out, right?

5. Do EMOMs

If you’ve never heard of an EMOM before, it’s not as technical as it sounds, and it might be a game-changer for your workouts. EMOM stands for “Every Minute On The Minute,” and it’s low-key the holy grail of exercise intervals. The idea is to set a timer, pick 2-3 exercises, and do a certain amount of reps in one minute. If you finish before the minute is up, you can spend the remaining time resting. Then, when the second minute starts, you start again. Most people choose anywhere between 5-10 minute EMOMs, so it just depends how hard you wanna go. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to finish each interval as fast as you can to get more rest time, so you don’t even realize how many minutes are passing.

6. Work Out With Someone

Having someone force you to finish your workout is obviously the most efficient strategy. I mean, do you think anyone would actually get through a Barry’s Bootcamp class without some jacked guy in spandex yelling at you to sprint at a 12.5? No, the answer is a hard no. There’s a reason celebs are in such good shape, and it’s not because of some Skinny Tea they bought on Instagram. It’s because they have expensive trainers making them finish their workouts, so if you can hire a trainer, that’s ideal. If you’re a regular person, take a workout class or bring a friend with you to make you stay till the end.

Workout Buddy

7. Bribe Yourself

We all know the best way to power through anything in life is through bribery. I mean, there’s a reason you did so well on your middle school finals, and it’s because your parents promised you peace sign Juicy Couture earrings if you got straight A’s. The same mindset applies to working out. If you tell yourself that you’ll get your favorite froyo if you get through your workout, or like, the new Bandier crop top you’ve been wanting, you’ll have more motivation to actually get the workout done, and get it done FAST. People might think bribery is an unhealthy tactic, but like, if it does the trick, who cares? If it worked on the bouncer when you got your fake ID taken away in high school, it’ll work now, too. 

A Gym Routine That Even Unmotivated People Can Stick To

Everyone knows when it comes to going to the gym, getting there is the hardest part. Like, there are days when we genuinely feel we should be getting paid just for getting out of bed, so making it to the gym deserves an actual Nobel prize. As much as we complain, one of the reasons why going to the gym is so annoying is because you don’t have a real plan that you’re dedicated to, and so you don’t have the motivation to get there. That’s why we’re gonna walk you through the process of creating a legit gym routine that will make you want to get to the gym and get shit done. Here’s the plan:

1. Choose Your Days (Realistically)

Before you can map out your workouts, you’ll have to decide how many days a week you’ll actually be getting to the gym, and choose specific days that you’re going. This can change over time obviously, but committing to exact days will help you actually get to the gym. For example, if you know you’re going to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, you won’t be deciding in your head all day on Tuesday if you should go to the gym after work, because you know that it’s your day off and you’re going tomorrow. It’s kind of like making an appointment with yourself that you have to stick to, so mark your calendar and don’t bail.

2. Decide On Your Workout Focus

There are a million online workouts that you can copy to a tee, but you’re the only one that knows how you like to work out, and what machines and exercises will actually get you to the gym. It’s totally fine to experiment with a few different types of workouts, but you should ultimately find the workouts you enjoy doing, and build your routine around that. For example, if you know you like doing HIIT cardio, ab toning, and leg workouts, break up your days into combos of each one. Trying new things is obv important, but if you’re gonna dread going to the gym because you’re making yourself do an exercise you don’t like, it’s not worth it.

3. Break Up Sessions By Body Part

Once you start working out throughout the week, you’ll start to notice that it’s harder to get to the gym after a few days because you’re sore AF. I mean, it’s understandable. If you’re working hard enough and going to the gym consistently, your body will feel it, and that’s not a bad thing. But even if you can’t sit on the toilet without crying, it doesn’t mean you need a day off—you just need to set your routine up accordingly. So, if you know you’re going to do squats and lunges on Monday, you probably shouldn’t plan on running on the treadmill on Tuesday, because your legs will be pretty shot and you’ll end up half-assing your workout. Instead, plan to do upper body moves on that day or just some light yoga to keep your body active. Just don’t be an idiot by hitting the same body parts one day after the other.

4. Make Playlists Beforehand

People undermine the importance of a bomb workout playlist. I mean, yeah working out is about your muscles and your body and your breathing and energy levels, but music low-key makes a huge difference, so take it seriously. Make your playlists at the beginning of the week so you have them ready for your workouts and you’re not wasting gym time just shuffling through Spotify. By having good songs ready that you know will pump you up, your workout will be a thousand times better and you might actually look forward to the gym to listen to your sick playlist. It’s kind of like the excitement you get before a SoulCycle Drake vs. Rihanna themed ride. You know you’re about to die, but the playlist will be so good that it’s worth it.

5. Only Focus On Yourself (As Always)

Once you get to the gym with your plan and your playlist ready, it can still be hard to get an effective workout if you get easily distracted by the other people around you. Like, stop thinking about the old man grunting in the corner, the girl next to you with amazing abs, or the relentless trainer offering you a personal session. Turn your music up and focus on your own workout, and you’ll see a huge difference in your results. Also, just gonna throw this out there—your phone. You can literally scroll through Instagram and answer your texts all day, so now’s not the time to ask your friends advice on a profile pic caption. Go on sleeping mode or airplane mode, or just put your phone away completely. The separation may be hard at first, but sooner or later you’ll be the bitch judging the girl texting on the treadmill next to yours.

READ: A Hangover-Proof Full Body Workout For When You’re Still A Little Bit Drunk


How To Get A Last-Minute Beach Body When You Procrastinated All Winter

In just a couple weeks, you’ll be showing more skin than Rihanna on any red carpet, so you’re obviously panicking over your lack of a beach bod. Maybe you saw a pic of Gigi at the Met Gala. Maybe the woman weighing your Sixteen Handles cup is starting to call you by your first name. Either way, you’ve procrastinated all winter and it’s time to get shit done. Here are five tips to get your bod in shape in time for those inevitable Memorial Day Instagrams.

1. Cut Out Sugar

Throw away any fitness mag that’s telling you to cut out carbs and fat. If you want to change your body, simply cut out white sugar. Eating sugar is literally just putting empty calories in your body that will trigger more hunger later on. Sugar is proven to mess with your blood pressure, your hormones, and obviously your body. Don’t waste your time skipping breakfast or drinking green juice. Just put down the Sour Patch Kids.


2. Do Short HIIT Workouts

We don’t all have time for hours of work at the gym. HIIT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training, is perfect for betches who need to get shit done in a time crunch. It’s super fast and super efficient. The best part is that you only need 20-30 minutes to get the workout done. That’s like, one Broad City episode.

3. Load Up On Fiber

Adding fiber to your diet will keep your full longer, so you can avoid all the mindless snacking you thought no one would notice. Fiber helps improve your skin, your blood sugar, and has anti-bloating properties. Foods like avocados, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, oats, and chick peas are filled with fiber—so get snacking. Yes, we just gave you a reason to eat MORE avocado and hummus. There is a god.

Beyonce Praise

4. Go The Fuck To Sleep

You’re gonna need to stop going to sleep at 4am for the next couple days. Aside from helping your brain function better and avoiding bags under your eyes, sleep will help you make healthier choices before the summer. Going to sleep earlier prevents late night snacking, burns more calories, and avoids hanger during your 3pm crash the next day.

5. Do Some Prep

You may have been lazy all winter long (don’t argue—we’ve seen your Netflix history), but it’s time to step up your game. We can tell you what to do, but we can’t do it for you. Make yourself some healthy food at the beginning of the week, write down a few realistic fitness goals for yourself, and get to it. If Khloé could put down the chicken fingers post-Lamar trauma, you can get yourself in shape for summer.


Want more tips on how to get skinny by Memorial Day? Click here!

Taking Baths Is As Good For You As Exercising, So Cancel Your Gym Membership

Anyone who says they legitimately enjoy exercise is lying to you and/or themselves. In my opinion, the only acceptable reason to hit the gym is to work off the damage done to my body by the lifestyle to which I am accustomed—and even then, my true calling is to find a way to avoid exercise and still stay skinny. As you can imagine, I lost my fucking mind when I found out that according to a new study, taking a hot bath is as healthy as exercise. Like, am I dreaming? I can just hang out in a hot tub surrounded by hot men (not a requisite for achieving said benefits) instead of punishing myself with three hours of barre every week? There is a god.

In an experiment published in Temperature (no relation to the Sean Paul song, unfortunately), sports medicine researchers rounded up 14 men and analyzed their metabolism, aka how well their bodies regulated blood sugar levels, aka the reason you were so skinny in high school. The lucky participants got to spend an hour in a 104-degree bath, which sounds a lot like my experience camping at Bonnaroo; the rest were forced to cycle for an hour, which sounds a lot like my personal hell. Experimenters kept analyzing their blood sugar levels for 24 hours afterward and compared the groups at the end. The results are enough to get me to cancel my gym membership aka justify the fact that I haven’t stepped foot in that place for the past month, except that one time where I ran in to use the bathroom. #Health

Exercise is good for your body in basically every way possible (unfortunately), so it’s no surprise that people’s metabolisms were better after they worked out. The part you care about, however, is that the people who laid around in a bath for an hour showed the same improvement—their metabolisms were way better at controlling their blood sugar after eating. Considering a blood sugar imbalance is one of the many, many things that can make you fat, this is life-changing.


Researchers also found that taking a bath lowered people’s blood pressure and helped reduce inflammation, which are both effects of exercise. Apparently, our bodies are contain things called “heat shock proteins,” and they play a role in regulating metabolism. When you take a bath, the temperature activates these proteins and you enjoy a temporary return to the metabolism of a high school student without the misery of having to work out. So blessed. So moved. So grateful. Can’t believe this is my life. Promise to never take it for granted.

Bubble Bath

Other studies have found pretty much the same thing, although most of them say actual exercise is still better for you than just taking a bath. I’m still breaking out the bubble bath, though. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.