Can a Walk After a Meal Improve Digestion?


walking, walk, exercise

Exercise can improve your health, and new research also indicates how a quick post-meal walk can actually help improve digestion.

We've all heard about post-meal sluggishness-- you know them best as those "turkey comas" after Thanksgiving meals. Most of the time, they're a mere excuse to take a nap after indulging just a tad too much, but getting up and walking could prove more beneficial than the post-gravy nap--which does nothing to improve digestion.

In a 2008 German study from the University Hospital of Heidelberg and published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, "researchers looked at what happened when people ate a large meal and then consumed either an espresso or an alcoholic digestif - like brandy or flavoured liqueur - or walked at a slow pace on a treadmill," reports The New York Times. "Walking, they found, sped the rate at which food moved through the stomach. The beverages had no effect." 

According to the Times, a 2009 Old Dominion University study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, found that a 20-minute walk about 15 minutes after dinner "led to lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes than either a walk before dinner or no walking at all."

Post-meal walks can not only improve digestion, but lower blood sugar levels as well, as a third study published by the American Diabetes Association found that "in older adults who were overweight and sedentary, walking for 15 minutes shortly after each meal improved daily blood sugar levels to a greater extent than a single 45-minute walk in the morning," reports the Times.

Read more about exercise and fitness

Researchers have concluded that post-meal walks can actually help clear glucose from the bloodstream because more of it is being taken up by muscles, which ultimately means better digestion and better overall control of blood sugar levels. Good digestion is crucial to better overall health, ensuring that you're adequately processing your food and can even help soothe symptoms of digestive orders such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Read more about good digestion

Photo Credit: María Bueno

References: The New York Times


By Ryan Bisram| July 17, 2013
Categories:  Eat

About the Author

Ryan Bisram

Ryan Bisram

Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is a contributing writer for NaturallySavvy.com.

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