The New York Times – Life/Style – A walk after a meal, as popular wisdom says, helps clear the mind and aid digestion. Scientists found that too Walking 15 minutes after a meal can lower blood sugar levelswhich can help stave off complications such as type 2 diabetes. But it turns out that just a few minutes of walking can lead to these benefits.
In a meta-analysis recently published in the journal sports medicineIn the study, researchers analyzed results from seven studies that compared the effects of sitting versus standing or walking on heart health, including insulin and blood sugar levels. They found that a brisk walk after a meal, for just two to five minutes, had a significant effect on modulating blood sugar levels.
Dr. said. Kershaw Patel, a preventive cardiologist at Houston Methodist Hospital who was not involved in the study.
Walking very lightly lowers blood sugar levels
In five of the studies the article evaluated, none of the participants had prediabetes or prediabetes. diabetic Type 2. The remaining two studies looked at people with and without these diseases. Participants had to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of an entire day.
All seven studies showed that just a few minutes of light walking after a meal was enough to improve significantly blood sugar levels Compared to sitting at a table or on the sofa, for example. When the participants walked for a short walk, their blood sugar levels gradually rose and fell.
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For people with diabetes, avoiding sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels is a key component of controlling their disease. It is also believed that high and low blood sugar levels can contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Standing also helped lower blood sugar levels, but not as much as brisk walking. “Standing up is a small benefit,” said Aidan Bovey, a graduate student at the University of Limerick in Ireland and author of the research. Compared with sitting or standing, he said, “light walking was a better intervention.”
That’s because light walking requires more active muscle involvement than standing and uses food fuel at a time when a lot of it is circulating in the bloodstream. Your muscles will absorb some of that extra glucose,” said Jesse Inchosby, author of The Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Blood Sugar Balance.
“You will still eat the same meal, but the effect on your body will be less,” she added.
Walking for 60 to 90 minutes after eating works best.
While a brisk walk at any time is good for your health, a short walk within 60 to 90 minutes of a meal can be especially helpful in reducing hyperglycemia, as this occurs when blood sugar levels tend to peak.
Also recommended by Inchauspé Wake up to do housework Or find other ways body move. This less activity will also improve other dietary changes that people may make to help manage their blood sugar levels.
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Dr. said. Ewan Ashley, a cardiologist at Stanford University, was not associated with the study.
Short walks are more practical during workdays
Buffy, whose research focuses on physical activity interventions in the workplace, noted that a small walk of two to three minutes is most practical during workdays. He said people “won’t get up and run on the treadmill or run around the office,” but they could go for coffee or even walk down the hall.
For people who work from home, suggest walking a short walk around the building between Zoom meetings or after lunch. Buffy said that the more we normalize mini-walking during workdays, the more viable it is. “If you are in a rigid environment, difficulties may arise.”
“If you can’t take those few minutes walking, standing up will help you out a little bit,” Ashley said.
The benefits of physical activity aren’t all or nothing, Patel said, but they are on a continuum. “It’s a gradual effect of more activity and better health,” he said. “Every extra step, every extra lift or brisk walk seems to be beneficial.” / LÍVIA BUELONI GONAALVES . translation
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