Walking must be the most underrated from of movement/exercise! When I was healing my hormonal issues and PCOS, this a habit that contributed greatly to my healing process.
By now we know that exercise at any time is good for your overall health and well-being. It helps with mitochondria production (our energy cells), may reduce inflammation, reduces the impact of insulin resistance, improves circulation, helps with digestion, and my favorite, contributes to mental health.
But a growing body of research shows that walking after a meal is especially beneficial for your metabolic health—particularly if you do a post-meal walk or bursts of walking throughout the day.
Metabolic health describes how well your body generates and uses energy at the cellular level. Those who are metabolically healthy tend to feel more energetic, have better memory function, able to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight, and an internal system where all the right messages between the brain and organs are clear.
Recent research suggests a simple walk after a meal can help blunt the immediate glucose spike after that meal and significantly lower overall levels of insulin, a hormone that helps our cells take up glucose but can be damaging if our bodies produce too much.
Blood sugar levels are meant to rise after a meal, that’s totally normal! But we want to control how high and low those spikes are as well as the duration of the time spike.
How long and when should you walk?
30 mins of a brisk walk seems to be the sweet spot for a post meal walk, and you want to start walking within the hour after eating. If you can’t, then walk when you can, something is better than nothing.
If you work from home or have the ability to walk around the office, regular low-intensity exercise allows your muscles to absorb excess glucose from your bloodstream more regular intervals, even if it’s done for brief periods (only 100 seconds every half hour!).
Other benefits of walking:
Walking is for everyone, whether you have hormonal issues, insulin resistance, diabetes, digestion issues, high cortisol (stress), OR you just want to make sure that you don’t head into any health issues like mentioned above, WALK IT OUT!