A short walk after a meal aids digestion

AShortWalkAfterMealsYou may have heard various claims over the years about the benefits of walking after a meal.

Well, it turns out the stories are true… so you may want to consider choosing a 15-minute walk after eating as opposed to a siesta.

The benefit comes in the way of helping balance blood sugar. Many studies over the years have proven that walking helps balance the blood sugar level after meals. Blood sugar typically rises and then falls after eating—this is normal—but large spikes are not normal.

It can raise cardiovascular risk and perpetual spikes frequently lead to diabetes. The short walk after a meal can make these spikes less significant.

One study carried-out by German researchers in 2008 reported good news about walking on two fronts. In the small study,  researchers looked at what happened when people ate a large meal and then consumed either an espresso or an alcoholic digestif, such as brandy, OR walked at a slow pace on a treadmill.

The first bit of good news was that walking, as suspected, sped the rate at which food moved through the stomach.

The second piece of good news is that the beverages had no effect. To some this could be viewed as discouraging news, since the drinks were “digestif” in nature and supposedly helped digestion. However, today many health-conscious people are of the differing opinion that the hot drink or alcohol following a meal actually harms digestion. This study, at least, suggests that this is not the case.

So don’t hesitate to have a drink after your meal… but be sure to get out and have that walk.

You can read specifics of the the German study at PubMed.gov here.

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