If you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a small new study suggests taking a 15-minute walk after every meal to curb a “risky rise” in blood sugar, although researchers say larger trials are needed to confirm results.
Blood sugar spikes after meals. In young, fit people, insulin helps drive that sugar, or glucose, into muscle cells and the liver, where it’s stored for energy. But the system is less efficient as we get older, and leaving too much glucose in the blood can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular damage.
While prior research already confirms that exercise, including 45-minute daily walks, can reduce your risks for type 2 diabetes, researchers wanted to see if shorter walks could also be as beneficial, especially for older inactive people.
Researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in the US found that three short post-meal walks were as effective at reducing blood sugar over 24 hours as a 45-minute walk of the same easy-to-moderate pace.
Moreover, post-meal walking was significantly more effective than a sustained walk at lowering blood sugar for up to three hours following the evening meal, the researchers said.