It is often believed that going for a walk after a meal can help clear your head and give your digestive system a boost. Researchers have also discovered that going for a walk after a meal, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, may lower blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can help prevent problems such as type 2 diabetes. However, it has been shown that walking for as little as a few minutes at a time might bring about the aforementioned advantages.
In a meta-analysis that was just just published in the journal Sports Medicine, the researchers looked at the findings of seven studies that evaluated the impact of sitting vs standing or walking on indicators of heart health. These variables included insulin and blood sugar levels. They discovered that going for a stroll after a meal, even if it was just for two to five minutes at a time, had a substantial influence on bringing blood sugar levels down to a more normal range.
In five of the trials that were analysed for this research, not a single person exhibited any signs of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The last two investigations compared participants who had the sickness to those who did not have it. Throughout the course of a whole day, participants were instructed to either stand or walk for two to five minutes at intervals of twenty to thirty minutes each.
When compared to, for example, sitting at a desk or plopping down on the sofa after a meal, the results of all seven trials demonstrated that only a few minutes of light-intensity walking after a meal was sufficient to considerably improve blood sugar levels. The participants’ blood sugar levels increased and decreased in a more steady pattern after they went for a brief stroll.
When it comes to the management of diabetes, one of the most important things for diabetics to do is to take measures to minimise the likelihood of experiencing sudden swings in their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that fluctuate wildly up and down are another risk factor that may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Although it did not have the same effect, standing helped drop blood sugar levels as well, but not as much as mild walking did. Aidan Buffey, a graduate student at the University of Limerick in Ireland and one of the authors of the article, said that standing did have a little advantage over sitting. Walking at a low intensity, as opposed to sitting or standing, “was a preferable intervention,” according to what he had to say on the matter.
This is due to the fact that even mild walking involves a greater active engagement of muscles than standing does, and because walking consumes the fuel from meals at a time when there is a lot of it circulating in the circulation. According to Jessie Inchauspé, author of the book “Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar,” your muscles will take in some of the glucose that is in excess.
Even while mild walking at any time is beneficial to your health, a brief stroll within 60 to 90 minutes after having a meal might be particularly advantageous in limiting blood sugar rises, since that is when blood sugar levels tend to peak.