Walking After Eating a Meal

29September 2021

Most doctors will tell you that walking is one of the best forms of exercise around.  Not only that, but it is inexpensive.  You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment.  Just a good pair of walking shoes and a safe area to travel.  Benefits include cardiac health, weight loss, blood pressure and blood sugar maintenance.

You have just finished a lovely meal, whether it is a satisfying lunch or a delicious dinner.  The question is should you sit and allow your food to settle or get up and take a walk.  Instead of relaxing, the choice should be to take a walk.  If you move at a moderate or light pace, you are doing yourself a whole lot of good.

The most noted benefit to walking after a meal is improved digestion.  The stomach and intestines are stimulated by the moderate physical activity and can help move the food through the digestive system.  Studies show that it helps prevent ulcers, constipation, heartburn, colorectal cancer, and others.

Exercising after eating can prevent blood sugar spikes.  This is particularly important in people who deal with diabetes, both types 1 and 2.  With better control of the spikes, less medication is necessary to maintain a good sugar level.  Even if you don’t have diabetes, it helps your sugar levels.

Physical activity has been linked to good cardiac health.  Regular exercise shows to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, which will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.  The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days per week.  If you take a five to ten minute walk following your daily main meals, you can easily meet this requirement.

Walking Fitness after a meal

To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.  A program that includes walking can be a part of that weight control regimen.

Just a word of warning.  Please note that all of the walking we discussed was at no more than a moderate intensity.  Your goal is to walk at a pace where you can tell your heart is slightly elevated but you are not out of breath.  If you are not in especially good shape or haven’t exercised in a while, it is suggested that you start at a lower intensity rate.  Walking too fast can cause an upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, or gas.  Jogging right after a meal is certainly not recommended.

Walking was one of those activities that many people took up during the isolation of Covid and 2020.  it is still a good idea even though the majority of workers have returned to office or factory positions.  Just be sure to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or if you have not worked out in a while.

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