Walking After Meals: A Tradition Worth Reviving
Once upon a time, people usually took a (short) walk after meals. And, if we want to give credence to a series of recent studies, that old tradition should make a comeback: stretching your legs, after eating, even for just 15 minutes can help digestion and has a series of positive effects on the body.
5 Reasons to Walk After Meals
Walking is an easy and accessible activity for everyone, but incredibly beneficial. Especially after the main meals, its benefits multiply. The benefits, supported by scientific research, range from better blood sugar control to faster digestion, from reduction in blood pressure to support in weight management, up to a reasonable psychological well-being. Here are the 5 reasons why it can be a good habit.
1. Reduces Blood Sugar
A study from George Washington University showed that 3 short walks of 15 minutes each, taken after each meal, are as effective in controlling blood sugar levels for 24 hours as a single 45-minute walk at a moderate pace. The study, which involved 10 elderly volunteers, found that 15-minute walks after meals were most effective at reducing blood sugar spikes during the 3 hours following a meal, with the post-dinner walk proving the most effective at regulating blood sugar levels for the entire 24-hour period.
2. Improves Digestion
Walking after eating can aid digestion. A study published in PLOS One found that walking stimulates stomach and intestinal activity. This can help food move more quickly through the digestive system and reduce bloating, especially for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
3. Adjusts the Pressure
Walking after meals can also have a positive effect on blood pressure, lowering it. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, so it’s important to find ways to reduce this risk.
4. Burns Calories
Walking after eating can help activate the metabolism, allowing us to burn more calories. On average, a person weighing 70 kg will burn approximately 100 calories per 1 mile walking at a moderate pace.
5. Improves Mood
Exercise helps reduce levels of stress hormones and increases positive hormones, helping improve our mood and overall well-being.
The important thing is to keep in mind that including walks after meals in our routine does not have to be an extreme commitment. Even just a few minutes of walking is better than nothing. Experts suggest starting with small steps, such as parking a little further away or choosing the stairs instead of the elevator. The important thing is to gradually get used to walking after meals, integrating this practice into our daily routine and considering it a pleasant moment of the day.
It’s clear that there are numerous benefits to taking a walk after meals. This old tradition seems to hold the key to better digestion, blood sugar control, weight management, and overall health. So, maybe it’s time to revive this practice and enjoy the benefits it can bring.
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