Close-up of feet walking with text "Post-Meal Stroll" on an illustration of an autumn leaf

Is there any benefit to our health by taking an evening stroll after dinner? A quick stroll around the block after dinner can aid in digestion, but research has shown that walking also decreases blood sugar levels after meals.  A study published in the journal Diabetologia found that if a person has Type 2 diabetes, a walk after dinner might help modulate blood sugar levels.

In the study, about 40 people with Type 2 diabetes walked 150 minutes per week. Participants of the study were included in two phases. Phase 1, the participants walked 30 minutes a day whenever they wanted too. In phase 2 of the study, they were told to take a ten-minute walk no later than five minutes after completing each meal daily, for a total of three ten-minute walks in a day. In both phases, blood sugar levels were monitored after meals. The results showed that walking after a meal helped to lower blood sugar levels more effectively.

The researchers found that those who exercised at least 150 minutes per week had a 26 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The results also suggested that exercising more than the suggested 150 minutes had an even greater benefit, cutting the risk of diabetes by more than half.

While the couch and recliner look inviting after the evening meal, a 10-minute walk has way more benefit than a nap. Lace-up those sneakers, grab a jacket, and go for a walk.

Reference:

Reynolds, A. PhD, Mann, J. et al. 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 randomized crossover study. Diabetologia. 2017 October. DOI 10.1007/s00125-016-4085-2.

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