Diabetes: Walk after eating to reduce blood sugar; expert on many benefits

A recent study published in the journal Sports Medicine talks about the benefits of a short walk within 60-90 minutes of eating in moderating blood sugar levels and keeping complications such as type 2 diabetes at bay. While people usually go back to their sedentary jobs after eating or lie down to take a nap, a 10-minute short walk can boost metabolism and help burn more calories throughout the day, thus also helping in weight loss and minimising risk of issues like obesity and high cholesterol. (Also read: Diabetes: Breastfeeding tips for new mothers to control blood sugar levels)

Walk post meal for keeping diabetes, heart diseases at bay

Even while light walking is beneficial for your health at all times, taking a short walk within 60 to 90 minutes after having a meal might be particularly helpful in reducing blood sugar levels.

“In a study that was recently published in the journal Sports Medicine, researchers examined the findings of seven studies that evaluated the impact of sitting vs standing or walking on several heart health indicators, including insulin and blood sugar levels. They discovered light walking after a meal, such as two to five minutes, had a substantial effect on controlling blood sugar levels after meals. If you have a pre-existing heart disease please discuss with your physician before you start your post meal walks,” says Dr Ashutosh Shukla, Senior Director-Internal Medicine & Medical Advisor Max hospital, Gurugram.

According to fitness experts, you can increase your daily calorie expenditure by 2-4 calories per minute by walking instead of sitting or lying down.

Burn calories, boost metabolism

“By taking a stroll after a meal, you’ll also help your digestive system to work more efficiently. When you eat, your blood glucose level increases. Studies suggest that post-meal walk can help lower blood glucose level. This can be especially beneficial if you have diabetes or are taking medications that raise blood glucose level as a side effect. Walking after eating can also help boost metabolism. Short 10 minutes bouts of walk after every meal can help you burn more calories throughout the day and can also help you lose weight more quickly. By making a commitment to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, you can compound the benefits of walking after eating,” says ACE Certified Personal Trainer Varun Rattan Co-founder, The Body Science Academy.

Shruti Bharadwaj, Senior Clinical Dietician, Narayana Hrudayalaya says that post-dinner walks especially are beneficial considering our sedantry lifestyle and offer many benefits.

“Dinner is a major meal in Indian households as we all sit together and end up eating more; many a time we don’t watch the quantity of food in our plate. This could lead to many health problems in future. So post-dinner walk helps a lot in weight management. However, it’s good to do light causal walk only instead of brisk walk. One can go for a walk after 10 minutes of finishing meal,” says the dietician.

Bharadwaj also talks about other benefits of post-meal walks for overall health.

– It helps control blood sugar levels

– Helps to reduce fat near abdomen especially for women

– It improves sleep quality

– Walking post meal helps in boosting metabolism

– It helps remove insulin resistance.

– Post-meal walks can help in reducing gastric troubles

– It improved digestion