Friday, June 28, 2013

Walk 15 Minutes After EVERY MEAL!

I recommend to most of my clients, especially diabetics, to try to move after you eat, even if it’s just a walk to get the mail, but more activity like walking, biking, or lifting weights is even better. After you eat there is a raise in blood sugar levels, and the muscles act like sponges (when active) to soak up excess blood sugar that is streaming around your blood.
A study released in early June, sponsored by the National Institutes on Aging, found that a fifteen minute walk after every meal significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetes. The study’s lead author, Loretta DiPietro stated:

"You eat a meal. You wait a half-hour and then you go for a 15-minute walk, and it has proven effective in controlling blood sugar levels, but you have to do it every day after every meal. This amount of walking is not a prescription for weight loss or cardiovascular fitness — it's a prescription for controlling blood sugar.”

The results of the study emphasized the importance of timing of the exercise throughout the day for controlling blood sugar. The researchers found that splitting up walking into three 15 minute bouts after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was significantly better for reducing (3 hr) post-dinner glucose compared to when the participants walked for 45 minutes straight in either morning of afternoon, and much more significant compared to their days of inactivity.

My recommendations: This study further emphasizes the importance of “sit less, move more!” Instead of eating lunch and going back to your desk for 3 hours, try to get outside for a quick walk. As mentioned by the study’s lead author, do not think these walks after your meals count as your exercise for the day. Walking throughout the day should be normal activity and not counted in your “exercise” plan. You must do additional cardiovascular exercise on top of those little walks to improve your cardiovascular health. If you don’t have more than those 15 minutes to get in activity, you better make it a super brisk walk or even a run- no dilly dallying when you are low on time! Remember, walking is good for lowering post-meal blood sugar, but effective EXERCISE for cardiovascular health should be challenging and uncomfortable.

References: 1) Loretta DiPietro, Andrei Gribok, Michelle S. Stevens, Larry F. Hamm, and William Rumpler. Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Diabetes Care


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