Benefits of Walking After Eating: 3 Reasons to Love Post-Meal Walks
Ever had a heavy lunch and suddenly felt an irresistible wave of sleep flood over you?
Instead of giving in to the temptation to sleep or nap, it can be helpful to go for a walk.
Walking after eating has several benefits. Mounting evidence from scientific research shows walking after eating has many benefits. It helps to control blood sugar, improve digestion, and also burn off calories.
In this article, we will take a look at the benefits of walking after eating in detail. You’ll also learn what kind of walking is more ideal when you’re full of food. Read on to find out more.
Walking after eating helps to lower blood sugar
Researchers from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services did a study.
They examined the impact of post-meal walking for people with impaired glucose tolerance.
They found something fascinating which I will share in a moment. But before that, it’s important to understand how blood sugar works in our bodies.
Blood sugar is a prominent type of sugar in the blood that provides energy to our body.
When we eat, our digestive system (thanks to small intestines, the pancreas, and liver) transforms the food into sugar glucose. After eating, your bloodstream is high with sugar glucose.
Our body uses hormones like insulin to distribute the glucose into our body cells for use right away. Or into storage for later.
But here comes the problem: if you’re diabetic or obese, you already have high insulin activity.
This means that you’d have more insulin in your blood. This tendency leads to several heart kidney problems
Okay, back to the study from George Washington University researchers. The findings showed that walking for around 15 minutes after eating can reduce blood sugar increase.
The study suggests that post-meal walks were even more effective after dinner. It helps to lower blood sugar.
A later study by researchers at the University of Otago corroborated those findings.
Their findings published in Diabetologia suggest that post-meal activity helps control blood sugar. This is especially true when meals contain large amounts of carbohydrates.
Walking after eating improves digestion
When we eat, food enters the stomach. Our stomach muscles then mix the food and liquid with digestive juices. And slowly, the stomach passes on its content to the small intestines.
Depending on what we eat, our bodies need time to digest food. Studies show that a little movement can help food move the stomach to the small intestines.
A study in the Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases found that walking is a good movement. Walking after eating is a good accelerator for digestion.
This can also help prevent stomach bloating. A bloated stomach is not able to digest or empty its food contents, quickly and well enough.
When you walk after eating, you prevent a situation where your stomach hurts early in the morning when you wake up.
This situation is often a result of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD is a common issue that prompts stomachache early morning.
This condition worsens up when you lay down. This is because of the stomach juices and food back up into the esophagus from the stomach. Other studies show that improved digestion is associated with reduced rates of reflux.
Walking after eating helps you to burn calories
There are two sides to the weight gain or weight loss equation: calories in and calories out.
Eating is one side of that equation. You put in more calories. The good news is that walking after eating helps you to tackle the second part of that equation.
Walking can be your best friend. We underestimate the number of calories we can burn by walking.
In a few minutes of walking, you’re likely to burn anywhere from 90 to 120 calories. You burn this by casually walking to places you already go to.
You don’t have to be a victim to sleep coma or the lethargic feeling that comes with eating.
Instead, put on your shoes, and go for a simple walk or stroll. It’s even better when you avoid a poor diet and eating late at night in the first place.
Listen to music or your favorite podcast in the process. Avoid strenuous exercise after eating as that might hurt your digestion.