Walking after meals lowers blood sugar

Managing your blood sugar when you are type 2 diabetes can feel like a full-time job. Between the testing, the tracking, the counting, the needle sticks, and the doctor visits, you ALSO need to find the time to exercise every day.

I don’t even like to use the word “exercise” with my patients anymore, because it’s the one surefire way to get them to tune me out and hurry out of my office door.

So, I recently stopped using buzzwords like “exercise,” “workout,” or “activity” that end up being a total buzzkill on my patient relations.

Because according to a recently published study out of New Zealand, there’s one thing that will do wonders for your blood sugar – and you only have to do it for 10 minutes at a time.

W-A-L-K!

Now that’s a four-letter word I don’t mind saying in mixed company.

In the new study, a group of diabetic adults took three 10-minute walks a day, right after eating. And even though they spent less time being “active,” the post-meal walkers saw an average 12 percent GREATER drop in blood glucose levels, compared to those who exercised for 30 minutes a day in one, uninterrupted chunk.

We’ve known for a while that walking regularly and getting plenty of vitamin D are great ways to manage diabetes naturally.

But now it appears that, when it comes to your blood sugar, it’s not just about how active you are – but also WHEN you are active. In fact, the most dramatic effect came from walking after the evening meal, which reduced blood sugar 22 percent more.

It’s important to note that in the study, the walks always began no more than five minutes after the meal was over. So, you might want to strap on those tennis shoes before you sit down to eat.

This research confirms what I’ve been telling my patients for years: Exercise smarter, not harder. If you take a 10-minute stroll, three times a day, five days a week, you’ll hit that standard guideline of 150 minutes per week of exercise to prevent and control diabetes.

Only you’ll barely notice you’re “exercising.”

As always, talk to your doctor before starting any kind of new activity to be sure that it’s safe for you. Exercising immediately after meals may not be a good idea for some people with heart disease, as it puts too much stress on the heart when it’s already pumping blood through your body to help digest the food you just ate.

And if you can’t (or shouldn’t) walk immediately following breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then just walk whenever you can – even if it’s just for a few minutes.

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Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

Sources:

Have Type 2 Diabetes? Try Walking After Eating, webmd.com/diabetes/news/20161018/have-type-2-diabetes-try-walking-after-eating#1

Short stroll after meals better for blood sugar than walks at other times, telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/17/short-stroll-after-meals-better-for-blood-sugar-than-walks-at-ot/

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