Worried about type 2 diabetes? Walk after every meal
If you're at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, then take a 15-minute walk after every meal.
A study, out today, shows that moderately-paced walks after meals work as well at regulating overall blood sugar in adults with pre-diabetes as a 45-minute walk once a day.
And there's an added benefit of walking after every meal, especially dinner: It helps lower post-meal blood sugar for three hours or more, the research found.
Walking after a meal "really blunts the rise in blood sugar," says the study's lead author Loretta DiPietro, professor and chair of the department of exercise science at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
"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," she says.
The Italians call the walk after dinner a passeggiata and know it aids in digestion, DiPietro says. "Now we know it also helps the clearance of blood sugar."
Currently, almost 26 million children and adults (8.3% of the population) in the USA have diabetes, and about 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. In diabetes, the body does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Insulin helps glucose (sugar) get into cells, where it is used for energy. If there's an insulin problem, sugar builds up in the blood, damaging nerves and blood vessels.
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