Walk For 10 Minutes After Meals To Prevent Diabetes
Preventing diabetes is extremely important if you want to live a long healthy life. Everyone is interested in finding that magic bullet for preventing diabetes. Although there is no quick fix, adopting healthy habits can go a long way to preventing or even reversing diabetes once you have it.
One easy way to prevent diabetes is to make it a habit to walk for 10 minutes after every meal. This is what diabetics did in one recent study and results showed that they had a significantly greater improvement in blood sugar levels than when they walked for 30 minutes all at once. Walking after dinner is especially important since this is a time when people tend to be least active and they eat the most carbohydrates.
Researchers believe walking after eating increases the sensitivity of your cells to insulin—the hormone that gets out of balance with diabetes—and the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates safely.
How Can You Implement This Strategy?
Seems simple in theory, but putting it into practice can be a little complicated in a busy go-go-go world. Implementation requires some forethought and follow through. Here are some recommendations for making it happen:
Let’s start with breakfast: Many of us are running out the door after breakfast, only to sit in a car en route to work, errands, or some other appointment. Getting in a 10-minute walk may require you to wake up a little earlier, or rearrange things so that the dog goes out immediately after breakfast.
Lunch is often a bit easier as long as you have 30 minutes to stop for a break: 20 minutes for eating and 10 for walking. The key is to get away from your desk and head outside for a few laps around your office building or around the block. If you go out for lunch, see if there’s a way to walk to and from the restaurant.
Dinner usually doesn’t require as much troubleshooting in terms of logistics, but it can be hard to overcome the inertia that is pulling you towards the couch or your favorite program. This is the perfect time to head out the door for a quick walk during which you can process any nagging issues from your day and set intentions for tomorrow.
The key to success with this approach is to make walking after meals a habit. Once walking becomes part of your routine, it is automatic. No motivation or inspiration necessary. And you get major gratification in the form of better health, improved energy levels, and a leaner body composition.
Reynolds, A., et al. Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomized crossover study. Diabetologia. 2016. 59(12):2572-2578.