The Benefits Of Walking After A Meal
Walking is a great form of exercise, we all know that. We have also often been advised by a multitude of people around us to take a 10-15 minutes walk after we've eaten. Flopping yourself on the couch or lying down while scrolling through your Instagram feed may make you feel lethargic and stuffed.
There are numerous benefits of taking a walk after a meal, especially a heavy one. But before we dive into that, it's imperative to keep in mind that this walk should be light or moderately paced. A brisk, high-powered walk may lead to heartburn, acid reflux, or abdominal pain.
1) Walking after dinner or any other meal helps improve metabolism. Food is converted into glucose by the digestive system, and this then flows into our bloodstream. This leads to spike in our blood sugar. Walking is an aerobic exercise and helps regulate this sudden increase because the muscles use up this glucose as energy.
A study, conducted on 41 adults suffering from Type 2 diabetes, found that walking for 10 minutes after a meal helped lower blood sugar more effectively than a 30-minute walk at any other time of the day.
2) A notable benefit of a post-meal walk is improved digestion. Moving the body after eating gets your digestive system rolling into action by stimulating the stomach and intestines.
According to this study, walking after you eat speeds up the process of food moving from the stomach to the intestines.
It may also help tackle irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
3) Taking 10-minute walks after your meals may lower blood pressure as well! A walk isn't a holistic and in toto solution for blood pressure, but regulates the same. Research shows that multiple small walks throughout the day has a potential blood pressure lowering effect on the body, and the best way to get this done is right after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4) Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss, if you're on that journey. Walking after a you've eaten has similar effects and contributes to weight loss. It's a great way to stay fit and to amp up your step count! This 2011 study shows that walking just after a meal seems to be more effective than waiting for an hour after a meal.
5) Want to improve the quality of your sleep? Squeeze in a walk right after your meal! Exercise floods your body with happy hormones and is known to reduce stress while ensuring physical well-being. So, a small walk after dinner will help relax both your body and mind, leading to a peaceful night's sleep.
6) A post-meal walk may also improve mental health. As mentioned before, physical exercise reduces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Walking helps the body release endorphins which are natural painkillers, and these sweet, sweet endorphins boost mood, lower discomfort, and make you happy.
Knowing these benefits, it can safely be said that walking after a meal will do more good than harm. It's ideal to walk just after you've had your meal, if it's tolerable of course. Some might face issues like stomach pain and abdominal discomfort, so it's best to wait for 15-20 minutes before going for a walk. The amount of time depends on the person and also the meal size. Everyone's digestive systems are different, so one should learn about what best works for them.