Do Intensity And Duration Of Walking After Eating Matter
Low- to moderate-intensity activity, like brisk walking, appears best for keeping glucose levels in check after eating. One reason for this is that walking depends on aerobic metabolism, which draws upon glucose in combination with fatty acids and protein in the body. So when you take a walk after eating, you burn through glucose at a moderate rate to help curb a spike without prompting the production of additional glucose.
On the other hand, high-intensity exercise relies on anaerobic metabolism, which draws upon glucose as its only fuel source. Because glucose availability in muscles is limited, vigorous exercise stimulates hormones that prompt the liver to produce glucose to meet the rising energy demand, resulting in elevated blood glucose.
This dynamic is illustrated in two studies in the 2016 research synthesis exploring the effect of exercise intensity on glucose surges. One incorporated exercise at 45 minutes after a meal the other, an hour. In both studies, when participants exerted themselves beyond 71 percent of their VO2 max , their glucose levels rose 20 minutes into the hour-long session. On the other hand, when participants kept their intensity to 50 percent of their VO2 max , participants glucose levels did not rise.
How Can I Incorporate Walking And Other Types Of Exercise Into My Daily Routine
1. Take it one step at a time: A good way to start something new is to take it slow, set achievable goals, and then make them more ambitious over time. If you dont walk at all right now, make a goal to walk one minute per day. Next week, walk two minutes per day. Starting small and building up over time makes starting a new goal less daunting. Plus, the gains you make will give you a sense of satisfaction and encourage you to keep going.
2. Make a schedule: One easy way to remind yourself to walk or exercise is to schedule it on your calendar this can serve as a daily reminder, as well as a way to protect that time and avoid overscheduling yourself. And if your goal is 100 minutes of walking per week, a calendar can make it seem manageable: just 15 minutes per day.
3. Involve friends and family: Having someone join you in an exercise program can help keep you accountable , make the time pass more quickly, and even help foster some healthy competition.
4. Make it fun: To pass the time while walking, Ive become a huge fan of listening to audiobooks, music, or calling family members. There are also a variety of smartphone apps that are designed to make walking more fun, trackable over time, and even more competitive. I’m a big fan of activity trackers like Fitbit, which can be very motivating for increasing daily steps.
Does Walking Reduce Blood Pressure
Well, actually, initially no! Doing any exercise slightly raises your blood pressure when you start doing it, including walking. However, walking regularly has a definite and proven effect of lowering blood pressure over the longer term. So, while one walk wont make much difference, walking frequently will.
In fact, studies show that going for a well-paced walk most days can lower high blood pressure by up to 8/6 points .
So does walking reduce blood pressure? Yes.
How does walking decrease blood pressure?
Walking decreases blood pressure in quite a few different ways.
Firstly, walking briskly gets your heart working harder which gradually makes it stronger and more efficient at pumping blood through your body, which means it can pump more blood with less force, resulting in lower blood pressure.
Walking reduces blood pressure also by improving the condition of your blood vessels. Plus, regular exercise like walking can lower blood pressure by improving the way your body processes sugar and fat, resulting in healthier cholesterol levels and better control of your blood sugar levels .
Connected with this, frequently walking will help you keep your weight under control, which is also instrumental in lowering high blood pressure.
All these benefits of walking for blood pressure feed back into each other, and also improve your general health, reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes .
So these are some ways in which walking lowers blood pressure directly.
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The Relationship Between Exercise And Glucose
Scientists are still studying all the factors that regulate glucose delivery from the bloodstream to muscle cells, but one thing is certain: Our muscles are glucose processing workhorses.
Put simply, when you exercise, muscle membranes become more efficient at absorbing glucose, the heart pumps more glucose-containing blood to your muscles, and changes in chemical enzymes further aid glucose transport. With all of these mechanisms occurring simultaneously, our muscle cells enjoy the glucose they need to power a workout, and our blood glucose levels drop.
What If You Dont Have 30 Minutes
Walking for 30 minutes after eating might not fit into your schedule, especially if youre already doing other workouts during the week. Good news: Shorter bouts of low-intensity movement are also effective at taming glucose surges.
A randomized crossover trial compared post-meal metabolic factors, such as plasma glucose and insulin concentrations. Researchers worked with 70 adult participants, who completed three interventions, all lasting nine hours:
During the nine hours, all participants for all interventions drank a meal-replacement beverage at one, four, and seven hours. Participants in group #2 performed their 30 minutes of continuous exercise before consuming the first meal-replacement beverage.
Those who took the shorter activity breaks more regularly lowered both plasma glucose and plasma insulin compared to both prolonged sitting and the single bout of continuous activity.
Researchers posit that the smaller, more regular doses of activity may increase muscle permeability and keep GLUT4 ready for rapidly transporting glucose to fuel cells. Put simply: With regular low-intensity exercise, your muscles absorb excess glucose from your bloodstream more frequently, even if its done for brief periods
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Some Facts On Diabetes
Diabetes refers to the bodys inability to create or effectively use its own insulin supply. In type 1 diabetes, the body essentially does not produce insulin at all while in type 2 diabetes the body does not respond well enough to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar, as well as helps store blood sugar for future use.
- Just over 10% of the US population reports diabetes as a diagnosed health issue. Thats about 34 million people.
- Of the 1.5 million new cases diagnosed in the US in 2018, nearly 6,000 cases involved children ages 10-19.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., with over a quarter-million death certificates listing it as an underlying or contributing factor in all deaths in 2017.
- It costs over $300 billion every year to diagnose and treat diabetes in the U.S.
- While Type 1 diabetics must have daily insulin injected or pumped into their bodies, those with Type 2 diabetes can often control their blood sugar with a combination of diet, weight loss, medication, and exercise.
- Diabetics who exercise regularly also exercise better weight management, sleep better, show a stronger commitment to healthier eating and managing their disease through regular testing, doctor visits, and medication management.
Get Your 30 Minutes In The Pool
Your community or club pool can be a great place to start your exercise routine. Swimming is excellent aerobic exercise because it gets both your upper and lower body moving. And if youre overweight, it can feel great to spend time in a pool, where buoyancy makes it easier to move. Some ideas:
- Dive in with a group. Try water aerobics, swimming laps with friends, or even a little water volleyball.
- Use a kickboard for extra lift in the water, especially if you are a less-than-confident lap swimmer.
- Work on increasing your time spent swimming. Each time you visit the pool, swim a bit more, resting as needed. To steadily improve your aerobic fitness, swim three times a week.
However you decide to fit swimming into your life, be sure to test your blood-glucose levels before and after you exercise, and adjust the intensity of your routine if it is getting too high. And never swim alone.
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Why Walking Can Prevent Diabetes More Than Running Does
Science has given you permission to ramp down your workout
In the study, researchers had people with prediabetesa common condition where your blood sugar is elevated, but not quite at the level to count as diabeteswalk briskly or jog 13.8 miles a week for 6 months.
They discovered that those in the walking group showed nearly 6 times greater improvement in their glucose tolerancewhich measures how well their cells absorb blood sugarthan the joggers did.
More research needs to be done to figure out why exactly walking seems more protective against diabetes than running, says study coauthor Cris A. Slentz, Ph.D. of Duke University.
But researchers do have some theories.
One possibility? When you perform moderate exerciselike walking three milesyour body taps into its stores of fatty acids to fuel it more than it does when you exercise vigorously, like if you jogged the same distance, he says.
Until further research is performed, its not quite clear whether walking affects the bodies of healthy guys in the same way it does for those who are prediabetic.
Still, the findings apply to more guys than you may think: More than 1 out of every 3 Americans is prediabetic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How To Benefit From Physical Activity
The goal is to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. One way to do this is to try to fit in at least 20 to 25 minutes of activity every day. Also, on 2 or more days a week, include activities that work all major muscle groups .
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activities include:
- Walking briskly
- Playing Sports
These activities work your large muscles, increase your heart rate, and make you breathe harder, which are important goals for fitness. Stretching helps to make you flexible and prevent soreness after being physically active. Find out more by reading tips for being active with diabetes pdf icon.
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What Removes Excess Glucose From The Blood
How does our body manage this? Glucose cannot cross cell membranes without using transport proteins and insulin is required to facilitate the removal of glucose from the blood stream so that it enters cells. When glucose is in excess, the body stores it away in the form of glycogen in a process stimulated by insulin.
Walking Before Dinner Doesn’t Lower Blood Sugar In People With Type 2 Diabetes: Study
New study contradicts previous findings, but researchers still recommend exercise for overall health benefits.
A brisk evening walk before dinner does not affect glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to University of Alberta research that contradicts previous findings.
“We found no difference between 50 minutes of walking in the afternoon and 50 minutes of sitting on the 24-hour glucose profile,” said Jordan Rees, a PhD student in U of A diabetes researcher Normand Boulé‘s Physical Activity and Diabetes Laboratory. “This was quite surprising given it was a bit different from studies we’ve seen in the past.”
The multi-site study followed 80 people with Type 2 diabetes for one week.
Participants fitted with a continuous glucose monitor were put on a standardized diet with eating instructions that included a lunch three to five hours before walking for 50 minutes, with dinner consumed immediately after.
Walking was chosen because it is a preferred mode of activity for people with diabetes and the afternoon was chosen for convenience for participants who work.
Rees said many previous short-term studies showing exercise has a beneficial effect on glucose levels in those with Type 2 diabetes were completed in the morning, typically after breakfast.
She explained when we eat a meal, our food gets absorbed into our bloodstream as glucose, which can cause a spike in our blood sugar.
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Blood Sugar And Exercise
There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C.
Take Extra Precautions With Evening Exercise
Exercise does two things for those who have type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Hatipoglu.
First, your muscles need energy to work. To feed them, your body burns sugar as an energy source, lowering the glucose levels in your blood.
Second, when you exercise regularly, it helps your body use insulin more efficiently. This can lower your blood sugar levels for up to 12 hours after you exercise.
Also, keeping blood sugar low on a regular basis can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, Dr. Hatipoglu says.
Every person reacts a little differently to exercise, so she recommends tracking your blood sugar levels for four to five hours after post-meal exercise to see what your trend is. This can help you determine if your levels are healthy or drop too much.
This is particularly important if you exercise in the evening.
Especially after dinner, you need to know what your body will do when you exercise, she says. If you go to bed and glucose drops it can create a dangerous clinical situation.
Exercising after a meal is a good way to reduce blood glucose levels and lower your risk of complications from diabetes, including heart disease.
But, before starting or changing your exercise regimen, talk with your doctor to determine what is best for you.
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Hypoglycemia And Physical Activity
People taking insulin or insulin secretagogues are at risk for hypoglycemia if insulin dose or carbohydrate intake is not adjusted with exercise. Checking your blood sugar before doing any physical activity is important to prevent hypoglycemia . Talk to your diabetes care team to find out if you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it immediately:
A Walk After Meals Can Lower Blood Sugar/improve Insulin Sensitivity
A walk after meals can help lower blood sugar, and, in turn, improve insulin sensitivity which will go a long way in altering a poor body composition.
The last meal of the day is responsible for the greatest spike in insulin levels and a short family walk is all it takes to mitigate this spike.
Check out our article on how to reverse being skinny fat.
In a study conducted on senior citizens, three 15-minute walks were all it took to lower blood sugar levels on those prone to diabetes .
In fact, three 15-minute walks after meals were significantly more effective than one 45-minute walk at lowering blood sugar levels.
The 2013 study published in the American Diabetes Association found that: Short, intermittent bouts of postmeal walking appear to be an effective way to control postprandial hyperglycemia in older people.
These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent physical activity on a daily basis, said a researcher.
Another study from 2016 found that three 10-minute walks were more effective at lowering blood sugar levels than one 30 minute walk .
Researchers believe that a walk after a meal can help diabetics reduce the number of medications required to address their condition.
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Does Exercise Lower Blood Sugar
Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin. Become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity.
Exercise And Blood Glucose Takeaway
Physical activity is important for everyone with diabetes. Most forms of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise will lower your glucose levels, while activities such as high-intensity training and weightlifting can raise it. Managing glucose levels with any form of exercise is possible once you understand your personal patterns and making adjustments that make sense to you and your lifestyle.
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