Whether you’re having dinner, lunch or breakfast, it can be tempting to take a nap, sit back and relax, watch a movie or just watch the screen. However, health experts warn against sitting or lying down after eating, but instead to keep fit, and stay healthy, walking after meals comes with tremendous benefits.
And if you’re wondering when to start walking, scientists say the more time passes, try to move your body within an hour of eating, the sooner the better. Glucose tends to rise 72 minutes after eating, so you may want to move well beforehand. Even if you do a brisk 10-minute walk, it will still be effective.
According to Peter Kaberuka, MD, Physiotherapist at Ineza Physical Clinic, Nyarutarama, walking or exercising has a big impact because it improves digestion. He adds that body movement can support digestion, by promoting stimulation of the stomach and intestines, which leads to food moving more quickly. A physical therapist says that walking after meals can have a calming effect on the body, which can improve your mood and focus. Kaberuka also notes that walking after meals helps reduce stress levels but also keeps you fit, as it helps stimulate your metabolism, which helps burn calories.
Kaberuka asserts that walking after eating can help lower blood sugar levels, and high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. “For people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it can lead to Constantly high blood sugar, increases your risk of further disease development and complications.” According to one small research co-authored by DiPietro, it was found that when older adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes after a meal, they had lower blood sugar spikes in the hours afterward. The researchers found that these short walks after a meal were more effective at lowering blood sugar after dinner than a 45-minute walk in the mid-morning or late afternoon.
Studies have also shown that moderate exercise after a meal, especially a walk after dinner, can reduce post-meal blood sugar levels. As such, Kaberuka recommends taking a walk, especially after dinner, as this can give you a good night’s sleep as it is believed to clear your mind, which in turn, banishes insomnia.
Walking burns calories, which may help you lose weight and keep it off. Walking just one mile burns about 100 calories. Walking can help prevent some of the muscle loss that occurs when losing weight.
This helps reduce the decrease in metabolism, which occurs when you lose weight, making it easy to avoid pounds and regularly participate in moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, such as walking, that has been shown to help people lose belly fat.