What is your post-dinner routine like? If you head out for a quick stroll before settling in for the night, you’ve got the right idea. Taking a walk after you eat a meal is good for you in a number of ways. Here are four of the biggest reasons why you should get moving after eating a meal or a snack.
1. Walking after eating gives your digestive system a boost
When you take a walk after you eat, your body is able to digest your food more quickly and efficiently. Studies have found that taking a stroll after dinner helps food pass through your stomach and into your intestines, while espresso — another common post-meal pick-me-up — has no such beneficial effect on digestion. So if you’d like to beat bloat and feel more comfortable after eating, a simple walk might be the best digestive aid available to you.
2. Taking a stroll after a meal helps you control your blood sugar
When you eat a meal or a snack, the level of glucose (or sugar) in your blood rises. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important not to let your blood sugar stay too high for too long, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. The closer to stable your blood sugar stays, the better. Taking a walk immediately after you eat can help burn off any excess glucose, so that your blood sugar stays within healthy limits.
3. You’ll burn some calories right away when you get moving after a meal
Excess calories add up to weight gain more quickly than you might think. Making a habit of a post-meal walk can help you enjoy the foods you like and maintain a healthy weight, too. If you walk for 25 minutes after lunch or dinner, you’ll burn about one calorie per pound of body weight. So, for instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, a 25-minute walk burns around 150 calories, which is about the same as two slices of bread.
4. Walking can help you avoid a post-meal energy slump
Do you often feel sleepy and foggy after a meal? Taking a walk can help clear your head and boost your circulation. Use the end of your lunch break to take a stroll with a co-worker instead of flicking through apps on your phone, and you might find that you’re more alert and productive in the afternoon.
Taking a walk after you eat a meal is a simple habit that can help you feel better in a number of ways. It helps you digest food better, lowers your blood sugar, and burns calories — plus, walking just makes you feel good, especially if you’re out in the fresh air. Establish a new walking habit after mealtimes today, and you’ll be able to enjoy the health benefits for years to come.