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Diabetes is a treacherous disease which can lead to blindness, heart, kidney and nerve damage… and even death. Although the occurrence of diabetes is skyrocketing in our sugar and starch addicted society, it does not mean that it is any less hazardous to the health of our population. Unlike many cancers and other lethal diseases, diabetes is both preventable and reversible. Adopting a healthier diet and a lifestyle that includes brisk walking at all times, but especially after a big meal, will help you fight this killer disease and live a longer and healthier life.

Walking Has A Measurable Beneficial Effect On Diabetes

Every diabetic should know by now that exercise is one of the best ways to help mitigate the nasty effects of diabetes on your body, as well as speed up the time when you can finally ditch those costly prescription medications. A recent clinical study (1) proved that although all exercise is beneficial for diabetics, there are extra added advantages to walking after dinner as compared to before a meal.

The Study Tested 20 Minute Walks Before & After Dinner

The study set up an experiment to analyze the effects on diabetics of a single brisk walk. The diabetic subjects were instructed to take that walk before their evening meal some days, and walk after dinner on some other days. They also had days when the diabetics just rested and didn’t exercise at all. Their blood sugar levels were tested each time and the results were certainly surprising, especially given that the experiment’s subjects were not asked to walk for hours but just 20 minutes!

An After Dinner Walk Is One Of The Best Things A Diabetic Can Do!

When the diabetics walked after dinner, they showed a plasma glucose (blood sugar) level that was noticeably lower than when they had walked prior to the meal. Of course, both tests on walkers showed lower blood sugar than when the diabetics had not walked at all either before or after dinner. This study proved that an after dinner walk is one of the best things a diabetic can do!

Walking Even Lowers Dangerous Fatty Acids In The Bloodstream

Another fascinating study (2) proved that the beneficial effect on blood levels of taking a brisk walk after dinner extends to the levels of dangerous fatty acids called triacylglycerol. These fatty acids have been linked to heart disease and strokes. Subjects who exercised by walking at a medium brisk pace for one and a half hours after a meal were demonstrated to have significantly lower levels of this perilous fat floating around in their blood streams than subjects who just rested after dinner.

Walk Twice As Long & Lower Your Insulin Response By 2.3 Times!

Any walking you do at all is going to be far better for you than just sitting around watching Food Network, but of course, the more walking you do, the greater the salutary effects on your body. A study (3) showed that the more you walk after dinner, the better your restorative outcome. Your after dinner insulin response is nearly 2.3 times lower after a two hour walk than a one hour walk. Since the lower your insulin response, the safer you are from diabetes’ menacing effects, that extra hour out in the sunshine or on the treadmill can have significant ramifications on your health.

One Third Of All Americans Will Get Diabetes… But Walking Can Help

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and costs our medical care system nearly $200 billion a year. It affects 23.8 million Americans and its occurrence is expanding at a nearly exponential rate. The Center For Disease Control & Prevention estimates that one third of all babies born this year will be affected by the disease in their lifetimes. The latest medical research shows that walking is an exercise which provides a measurable amount of protection against diabetes, while also being a pleasant after dinner activity. So… Walk on!

Key To References

1– Postprandial walking is better for lowering the glycemic effect of dinner than pre-dinner exercise in type 2 diabetic individuals, J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009 Jul;10(6):394-7. Epub 2009 May 21.

2 – Walking during the postprandial period decreases alimentary lipaemia, J Cardiovasc Risk. 1995 Feb;2(1):71-8.

3 – Moderate exercise and post-prandial metabolism: issues of dose-response, J Sports Sci. 2002 Dec;20(12):961-7.

Image credit –Two green lights for pedestrians Photos by Pond5

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