Sunday, October 30, 2016

Walk for Good Health

Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but exercise can be walking every day.  Recent research has good news about how healthy walking is.  

For those with Type 2 diabetes this is especially important but walking after eating is a healthy practice many of us may want to consider.  Walking at any time during the day is a healthy habit.  But walking after eating a meal, seem to have special health benefits.
o   Lower blood sugar levels – every time you eat, your blood sugar goes up as your body digests the food.  Taking a walk after you eat, helps lower your blood sugar level. Those who walked after eating had 12% lower blood sugar levels than those who walked at other times a day.  Those who walked after dinner, lowered their blood sugar by a whopping 22%.   So walking anytime is good, but walking after the evening meal is an especially healthy habit.
o   Helps prevent heart disease – Higher blood sugar levels is a risk for heart disease so taking a walk and lowering those levels reduces heart disease risk.

An author of this research noted, “Consider walking after you eat as part of your daily routine.”  (Walk after eating.)  In this study, 41 people who had type 2 diabetes walked the recommended 150 minutes a week.  In the first part of the study, participants were asked to walk 30 minutes a day, whenever they chose.  They did this for 30 days.  Then in the second part of the study, participants were asked to take just a 10-minute walk after each meal and within 5 minutes of finishing the meal. 

A study in Diabetes Care, found that those who did three short walks a day after each meal, helped reduce their blood sugar levels the same as those who took a 45 minute walk a day.  This study also found a walk after dinner was especially helpful in lowering blood sugar levels.  The study authors said short walks may be especially helpful to older adults in their 70’s and 80’s as it is easier to take a short walk than a walk of 45 minutes.

Another study looked at findings from 23 different studies on how physical activity affects Type 2 diabetes.  Exercising the recommended 150 minutes a week helped lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 26%.  Those who exercised more than the 150 minutes, had an even greater benefit.    

So this week, think about walking.  Walking any time of day is good for your health but making an after dinner walk part of your routine, seems to have even more health benefits.

Sources:  (Walk after eating.), Diabetes Care, authors,  Image source:  Walking
Walk for good health.

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