Everyone knows that walking brings numerous health benefits. But did you know that it is possible to time your walks to optimize reduction of your blood sugar levels? Recent research published in Diabetes Care showed that splitting a long walk in three short periods (one after each meal) may help optimize the way your body metabolizes sugar.
The study involved 10 people aged 60 years or over, who were pre-diabetic (fasting glucose 105-125 mg / dL). They were isolated in an experimental study environment, where their metabolism, including blood glucose levels, were constantly monitored . The study involved 3 separate study periods of 48 hours each. The first period consisted of 45 minutes of walking on a treadmill, at mild to moderated intensity, at 10:30 in the morning.. The second situation was conducted at 4:30 in the afternoon, at the same duration and the intensity. In the third test, the walking time was divided into three periods of 15 minutes each, performed soon after meals.
The best metabolic results—considering glucose metabolism—occurred in the third situation, with short walks after each meal. The researchers believed this was because when we walk after eating, muscle contractions stimulate blood sugar to be taken up as fuel for the muscles which had been working.
The walking also released insulin, which, when coupled with the absorption of sugar by the muscles, gave a double benefit for blood glucose levels, which is especially important for seniors who have diminished capacity to metabolize glucose.
So if you have evidence of pre-diabetes or are concerned about developing diabetes (perhaps because of your family history), forget about taking a nap after meals, and consider a short walk instead. This will help you avoid high sugar levels that can gradually damage the kidneys, eyes and even the brain. Walking for at least 15 minutes after meal will help control your blood sugar, and help you have a better quality of life.
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