After-dinner sprint

You know why I’m always bugging you about that after-dinner hike around the block? Because the fact is, it might be the most important 15 minutes of your day.

Case in point: As part of a recent study, researchers recruited ten non-obese, non-smoking subjects over 60–all with high fasting blood sugar levels.

The study participants completed three different exercise protocols, spaced four weeks apart. These protocols featured 48-hour periods of continuous energy expenditure and glucose monitoring.

The first day served as a control. On the second day, one group of subjects took three 15-minute moderate-intensity walks on a treadmill after each meal. Another group took a single 45-minute walk at the same intensity, scheduled at either 10:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.

The researchers found that both sustained and post-meal walking delivered significant improvements in glucose control.

But they concluded that the shorter post-meal walks were even better than one longer one. In fact, the lead researcher commented that the after-dinner walk was the most effective–blunting the highest and longest blood sugar spike you’ll typically have in any given 24-hour period.

So there you have it. Looks like the dishes will just have to wait.

Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Diabetes Care. 2013 Jun 11.