Walk After Eating to Lower Post-Meal Glucose Levels

Glucose is the body’s primary fuel source, however, when levels are constantly elevated, the body loses its ability to produce the right amount of insulin at the right time. Known as insulin resistance, the body is unable to respond as it should and therefore stores excess fat.

Keeping your blood sugar under control is vital to managing your diabetes. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise in terms of offering amazing benefits with little to no risk of injury. Just a few minutes of walking each day can yield great results.

What is a Good Goal?

Health professionals state that 150 minutes per week is an attainable and advantageous goal. This does not have to be done in large chunks, however. Simple steps, such as parking farther from your destination, walking the dog, or not sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time, can really add up to log those 150 minutes.

Is There a Better Time to Walk?

In a study conducted in New Zealand, 41 men and women between the ages of 18 and 75 were recruited to participate in a two-week study. Individuals had each suffered from diabetes for an average of 10 years. Two groups were randomly established. The first group took a walk for 30 minutes each day at a time of their own choosing. The second group split their walks into 10-minute segments, with each walk commencing within 5 minutes of finishing a meal. This group took a total of three walks, one after breakfast, lunch and dinner. All participants had blood glucose levels measured at the beginning and end of the study. Activity levels were monitored throughout the study as well.

The Results

At the end of the study, the group that walked immediately after meals showed a 12 percent reduction in blood glucose levels. The after-dinner-walk actually produced the largest benefit. For most people, dinner contains the highest amount of carbohydrates and is frequently followed by sedentary periods of watching TV or inactive relaxing.

Those who walked after meals also moved at a more vigorous pace than those who took the 30-minute walk. Perhaps this was related to the shorter duration.

Takeaway

The study focused on those with type 2 diabetes and therefore did not examine whether or not post-meal walks would be as advantageous to those with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, the study was too short in duration to assess the long-term benefits. However, taking walks, as opposed to not exercising, has absolutely no contraindications to overall health and wellness. Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, walking after a meal is a great way to promote healthy digestion, manage stress, promote weight loss and reduce blood glucose levels.

Sources:

“Advice to Walk After Meals Is More Effective for Lowering Postprandial Glycaemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Than Advice That Does Not Specify Timing: A Randomised Crossover Study.” Andrew N. Reynolds & Jim I. Mann & Sheila Williams & Bernard J. Venn Diabetologia December 2016; 59(12): 2572-2578