Walking After Eating Helps If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

A new study shows that a short walk after eating may help lower blood sugar levels, for people who have type 2 diabetes, more than exercising at other times of the day.

Postprandial glycemia is called the measurement of blood sugar and it has been linked with heart disease risk. When study participants took a walk after eating their postprandial glycemia was averagely 12 % lower versus those who exercised at other times. The study authors found that largest drop by 22 % in postprandial glycemia, was managed by walking after dinner.

A researcher at the University of Otago, New Zealand, author of the study Andrew Reynolds,  said that it is recommended to be active for at least 150 minutes a week if you have type 2 diabetes.

But, the benefits that they observed due to physical activity after meals suggest that current recommendations should be modified to specify after-meal activity, especially when meals contain plenty of carbohydrates.

Walking after you eat should be considered as part of your daily routine.

A warning on that advice was offered by one U.S. diabetes specialist.

Director of the New York City Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center, Dr. Joel Zonszein, said that exercise is surely part of good care and management for those with type 2 diabetes.

But, he advised caution about the benefits of exercising right after meals.

He explained that exercise after a meal must be carefully encouraged as the demands on the heart increase with meals because heart disease is usual among those with type 2 diabetes. This is particularly important in people with heart disease, as redirecting of blood from the coronary or carotid arteries to the gut is not always best for these patients.

On Oct. 17 these study findings were published in the journal Diabetologia.

Reynolds and colleagues, in the study, had 41 people with type 2 diabetes walk a total of 150 minutes a week. Participants walked for 30 minutes daily, in the first phase of the study, whenever they wanted. 30 days after the first phase started the second phase and participants were told no later than five minutes after each meal to take a 10-minute walk. Blood sugar was monitored during both phases. The study found that walking after meals more effectively lowered blood sugar levels among the participants.

Zonszein noted that many trials have shown improvements in controlling blood sugar with exercise but good lifestyle and exercise are often not enough.

He said that a combination of proper medications and good lifestyles is important for successful outcomes in type 2 diabetes.

In the same issue of the journalI, a second study by British researchers analyzed the findings of 23 studies on the connection between the incidence of type 2 diabetes and physical activity. More than 1.2 million people were included in all these studies. The researchers reported that among these participants, type 2 diabetes developed more than 82,000.

The researchers found that a 26% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes had those who exercised at least 150 minutes a week. The results also suggested that exercising more than the recommended 150 minutes had even bigger benefits in reducing the risk of diabetes, cutting it by more than half.


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