The Benefits Of A Post-Meal Walk

Exercise is important. Let’s just make that clear now in case it wasn’t already. But science is forever finding new reasons to repeat this old adage. Not only that: we’re also learning more details about the best way to use this valuable health tool.

For example, many people – including diabetics – are regularly advised about the benefits of a daily walk. A new study, however, highlights just how important this habit could be as well as how to make it even more effective.

Walk It Off

For the study, published in the journal Diabetologia, 41 adult participants with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to one of two groups: walking either 30 minutes at any time or 10 minutes after each main meal. Each group followed this protocol for two weeks. During the final week of the study, their blood sugar levels were monitored every five minutes.

At the end of the study, the impact on blood glucose levels were compared between each walking pattern.

…And?

The shorter, post-meal walks had a much greater effect on blood sugar than the longer once-a-day affairs. Interestingly, walking after dinner had a much bigger influence than walking after any other meal. Which the researchers didn’t really no what to make of.

Generally, though, people tend to eat most of their daily carbohydrates at dinner – increasing their blood sugar levels. And, without being directly told to get up and move, most people are then sedentary. So, introducing this structured activity would logically knock down glucose levels when they are usually at their highest.

The Application

Okay, so that’s the study: Walking after meals dramatically lowers blood sugar. And it does so much more effectively than walking at other times of the day.

So?

For diabetics, the applications of this study is pretty clear. What about everyone else, though?

Even those who do not deal with diabetes should be concerned with the way that their body uses all of the carbs taken in with each meal. Have you even felt tired and drained after a meal? Often, this is the result of a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels. As the study shows, a brief 10-minute walk can prevent this.

Plus, walking is just generally good for you. For lots of reasons. And you are more likely to build a habit when it’s clearly associated with something else. If you’re trying to squeeze more activity into your daily routine, then, tacking a walk onto your meals is an easy way to develop a new healthy habit.

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