In a study published this week in the medical publication Diabetes Care, researchers concluded that a 15 minute walk after eating every meal lowers blood glucose levels more than taking a 30 or 45 minute walk once a day.
“…researchers monitored blood sugar levels in healthy adults with an average age of 70 who were at risk of impaired glucose intolerance, a precursor of diabetes. Each study participant… on different days… did a 15-minute, post-meal walk (three meals per day, three walks per day), one 45-minute morning walk and a 45-minute afternoon walk.
The winner in terms of lower blood glucose levels? The after-meal walk.
“A post meal walk is timed to when blood glucose just starts to climb,” said Dr. Loretta DiPietro, lead author of the study and chair of the Department of Exercise Science at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “The muscle activity and the muscle contractions help to clear glucose. It’s like another set of hands to help the pancreas halt the surge of glucose.”
Dr DiPietro stressed that this type of low-stress exercise, won’t keep you fit in the long term, however. It’s really targeted at middle aged, obese people who show signs of pre-diabetes or for elderly patients who may not be able to perform a heavier regimen. And exercising for short periods three times a day may not be practical for most people.
But the important takeaway from this study is to KEEP MOVING. As we explained in an earlier post, aerobic exercise – walking, running, swimming, bicycling, etc – burns blood glucose more efficiently than any other kind of activity. And keeping these levels in check, whether you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic makes all the difference in avoiding the high cost of Type 2 Diabetes.