Can’t find time to get to the gym? Slip into your comfy shoes and take a 15 minute stroll after each meal. According to a new study from George Washington University, this habit can help normalize blood sugar levels for up to three hours after eating, and slash the risk of developing type 2 diabetes better than a sustained 45-minute walk.
In the study, scientists recruited healthy adults age 60 and older who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to inactivity and high fasting blood sugar levels. Researchers found that three short post-meal walks, at an easy-to-moderate pace, were as effective as one 45 minute walk at regulating blood sugar over a 24 hour period. What's more, the post-meal walks were found to be more effective in normalizing blood sugar after meals - the "riskiest" time, when blood sugar spikes the most.
To reap the benefits yourself, try out these techniques:
- Build a post-breakfast neighborhood walk into your morning routine
- Spend the last 15 minutes of your lunch break walking, either indoors or outside
- Recruit a family member or neighbor to join you in post-dinner walks
- If you have a canine family member, plan to walk your furry friend after meals whenever possible
- Keep your walking gear, like shoes, a light jacket, and perhaps a flashlight, in a designated location so you can just ‘grab and go’
- Try a new path or route around your neighborhood so your walks feel fun and ‘fresh’
For more about the benefits of walking, check out my previous post: Walking How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways