A Short Walk After a Main Meal is Good for Diabetes

November 11, 2016 in STSMPT


A recent study finds that taking a 10-minute walk after a main meal resulted in lower blood glucose levels. The shorter, more frequent walks immediately after meals reduced blood glucose by around 12% compared to a single 30-minute walk each day for people with type 2 diabetes. The greatest benefit, a reduction of 22%, was seen after the evening meal when carbohydrate consumption was high and participants tended to be less active.


Participants included adults with type 2 diabetes from 18 to 75 years old, with an average age of 60. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a 30-minute walk each day or a 10-minute walk following each main meal. The participants stayed in their assigned group for 14 days followed by a 30 day break. Then they switched groups. An exercise monitor device collected information on the adults’ physical activity during the study. Before and after each 14-day intervention, a fasting blood sample was drawn and body measurements were taken.


Researchers say the simple practice of a 10-minute walk after each meal could help lower the need for mealtime insulin injections. However, study authors would like to do further studies to see if the benefits are long term and to see if this exercise practice would lower the risk of getting diabetes in the first place.


Source: Reynolds A, Mann J, Williams S, Venn B. 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 randomised crossover study. Diabetologia, 2016: doi:10.1007/s00125-016-4085-2. Published online on October 17 2016

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