Two minutes of walking after a meal helps fight diabetes while helping muscles absorb fuel from food, experts say

Two minutes of walking after a meal helps fight diabetes because it helps muscles absorb fuel from food, experts say

  • Departing for a walk 60 to 90 minutes after eating is considered optimal
  • This is when blood sugar peaks and allows muscles to absorb food fuel
  • People should aim for a 15-minute walk, but even “mini-walks” offer some benefits
  • Researchers from the University of Limerick in Ireland reviewed seven studies

Taking a short walk after a meal can lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a study has found.

Experts say leaving 60 to 90 minutes after eating is optimal because that’s when blood sugar levels typically peak and allow muscles to absorb fuel from food.

People should aim for a 15-minute walk, but even two- to five-minute “mini-walks” offer some benefits, they add.

Researchers from the University of Limerick in Ireland reviewed seven studies comparing the effects of sitting versus standing or walking on measures of heart health, including insulin and blood sugar levels. the blood. They found that light walking after a meal had a significant impact on moderating blood sugar.

Taking a short walk after a meal can lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds

In five of the studies, none of the participants had pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The other two looked at a mix of people with and without such conditions.

Participants were asked to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of a day.

All seven studies showed that a few minutes of low-intensity walking after a meal was enough to significantly improve blood sugar levels compared to sitting.

When participants did this, their blood sugar levels rose and fell more gradually.

All seven studies showed that a few minutes of low-intensity walking after a meal was enough to significantly improve blood sugar levels compared to sitting.

All seven studies showed that a few minutes of low-intensity walking after a meal was enough to significantly improve blood sugar levels compared to sitting.

Avoiding large fluctuations in blood sugar is essential for patients managing diabetes. High fluctuations are also thought to contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Even just standing helped lower blood sugar levels, but not as much as light walking.

This is because light walking requires more active muscle engagement than standing and uses up sugar when there is a lot of it circulating in the blood.

Aidan Buffey, lead author of the review published in the journal Sports Medicine, said a two- to three-minute mini-walk is more practical during the workday. People “are not going to get up and run on a treadmill or run around the office,” he said, but they might grab a coffee or even take a walk down the hall.

Dr Euan Ashley, a cardiologist at Stanford University who was not associated with the study, said: “Moving around even a little is worth it and can lead to measurable changes.” For people who can’t find a few minutes to walk around, “standing will get you part of the way,” he noted.

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