Walking 2 Minutes After Eating Can Help Control Blood Sugar

Taking a walk after a meal can help lower blood sugar levels, even if it’s just for a few minutes, new research shows.


The news comes from a meta-analysis published earlier this year in the journal Sport Medicinein which researchers analyzed seven different studies to examine how light physical activity such as standing and walking affects heart health, including insulin and blood sugar levels, compared to sitting for long periods.


The findings suggest that taking a light walk after a meal — even for just two to five minutes — can improve blood sugar control, compared to sitting or lying down after lunch or dinner. Simply standing can also help lower blood sugar, but not to the same extent as walking.


“Even light activity can be completed for health benefits,” lead study author Aidan Buffey, MSc, a doctoral student at the University of Limerick’s Health Research Institute, said. Health.





When you eat a meal, especially one that is high in carbohydrates, it is normal for your blood sugar, or the amount of glucose in your blood, to rise temporarily at times. This is known as a postprandial spike.


This spike in blood sugar usually triggers the release of a hormone called insulin, which allows the glucose to leave your bloodstream and enter your cells, where it’s used for energy.


But the balance between blood sugar levels and insulin is delicate and can quickly get out of hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if the body consistently has very high spikes in blood sugar — thus routinely pumping more insulin — cells can eventually stop responding to insulin and become insulin resistant. This imbalance can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.


That’s where this new research comes in — study authors say a short walk after meals can help lower blood sugar levels and potentially reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.


The team of researchers from the University of Limerick analyzed seven different studies to examine the effects of sedentary breaks — or breaks from sitting for long periods — on cardiometabolic health markers, such as blood sugar and insulin levels, after eating.


Only two of those studies included people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes; the other five studies did not include participants with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. In all studies, participants were asked to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes during a day.


The researchers found that both standing and walking lowered postprandial glucose levels compared to sitting. But according to the study authors, “light-intensity walking was found to be a superior intervention.” Walking lightly was also found to improve insulin levels after a meal.


Ultimately, researchers recommended light-intensity walking to lower blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal.


According to the study authors, the skeletal muscle contractions that occur during walking lead to an increase in glucose absorption, meaning your working muscles use up the extra glucose in your bloodstream, reducing the need for insulin secretion.


“If you can do physical activity before that glucose spike, usually 60 to 90 minutes [after eating]that’s when you’ll have the advantage of not having a glucose spike,” Buffey told The times.


Walking after a meal is optimal for blood sugar management, said Buffey: Health that it is a good idea to take short walking breaks throughout the day.


“Try to interrupt your sitting time as often as possible,” said Buffey. “During the workday and evenings, if it is possible to stand and walk every 20 to 30 minutes, that would be ideal, if not every 45 to 60 minutes or whatever, because any movement is beneficial. ”





Controlling blood sugar can be helpful in lowering your risk of diabetes. And it’s vital to control your blood sugar levels if you already have diabetes, as it can lower your chances of several health complications associated with diabetes, such as vision loss, heart attacks, stroke, and kidney disease.


“Managing your blood glucose will help delay or prevent future diabetes complications and help you feel more confident in your health,” Laura Hieronymus DNP, RN, vice president of health care programs for the American Diabetes Association, and adjunct associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing, told: Health.


Maintaining blood sugar levels throughout the day can also help boost energy levels, she added.


To control your blood sugar levels throughout the day, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise, the CDC says. Other tips include:


  • Track blood sugar levels to see when they rise and fall
  • Eat regularly throughout the day and don’t skip meals
  • Choose water over juice, soda or alcohol


If you already have diabetes, keeping track of your blood glucose is especially vital to your health. “If you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels can rise or fall based on many factors,” Hieronymous said. “The extent to which your levels change can vary from day to day, which is why it’s important to keep track of those numbers so you can stay in a healthy range. The longer you’re out of range, the more damage you cause in other parts of your body, like the heart, the kidneys, and the eyes.”


You can use two different methods to track your blood sugar: a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose meter (CGM). The blood glucose meter works by checking your glucose through a small drop of blood obtained by pricking your finger. And a CGM is a device that stays on your body and provides real-time glucose readings and tracks glucose patterns over time.


“Both options are great ways to track your blood glucose throughout the day,” said Hieronymous.[to help you] make sure you stay within a healthy range so you can avoid or delay diabetes complications.”

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