Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise, and offers numerous health benefits. One of the most beneficial times to take a walk is after a you enjoy a meal. Let’s explore the benefits of walking after a meal and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
Taking a walk after eating can help improve digestion. When we eat, our body naturally slows down to focus on the digestive process. However, sitting or lying down after a meal can cause food to stay in the stomach for longer, leading to indigestion, bloating, and discomfort. Taking a walk after a meal can help stimulate the digestive system and increase blood flow to the stomach, which can help move food through the digestive tract more efficiently. This can help reduce digestive discomfort and promote better nutrient absorption.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Another benefit of walking after you eat a meal is that it can help lower blood sugar levels. When we eat, our blood sugar levels naturally rise. However, in individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance, blood sugar levels can remain elevated for longer periods, which can lead to complications such as neuropathy and kidney damage.
Studies have shown that walking after a meal can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. One study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that walking for 15 minutes after a meal helped lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Walking after a meal can also be beneficial for weight management. When we eat, our body stores excess energy as fat. However, walking after a meal can help burn some of the excess energy and prevent it from being stored as fat. Regular walking after meals can also help improve overall metabolism and promote weight loss. One study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that walking for 30 minutes after a meal helped reduce body weight and waist circumference in obese individuals.
Walking after a meal can also help reduce stress. Stress can have a significant impact on our digestive health, and it can also lead to overeating and weight gain. Taking a walk after a meal can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Studies have shown that walking can help reduce cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
How Can You Incorporate Walking After a Meal Into Your Routine?
Whether it’s after breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is easy to incorporate a walk into your routine by following these simple steps:
- Wait 30 minutes after a meal before taking a walk. This allows time for digestion to begin before exercising.
- Start with a 10-15 minute walk and gradually increase the duration as you get more comfortable.
- Choose a comfortable pace and try to walk on a flat surface to reduce the risk of injury.
- Walk outdoors if possible, as exposure to sunlight can help improve mood and reduce stress.
- Make taking a walk after eating a habit by scheduling it into your daily routine.
Taking a walk after a meal offers numerous health benefits, including improved digestion, lower blood sugar levels, weight management, and stress reduction. By incorporating walking into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and well-being.
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- Peda, R., Kandaswamy, M., & Chawla, K. (2017). Effect of walking on postprandial glycemic control and endothelial function in type 2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care, 40(8), e98-e99.
- Ohkawara, K., Oshima, Y., Hikihara, Y., Ishikawa-Takata, K., Tabata, I., & Tanaka, S. (2020). Effects of increased daily walking on plasma adiponectin and adiponectin