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Taking a post-dinner stroll can better your health

Blog Post created by communitymanager Moderator on Jan 13, 2020

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One key to staying active is to get as much movement throughout the day as possible. In our sedentary world, that can be a tall order. If watching TV or sitting in front of the computer is your daily routine after eating dinner, try to replace it with a 15-minute walk.

Benefits include proper digestion, burning more calories, and better control of blood sugar levels and triglycerides in the body.

The process of digestion is initiated soon after you eat. If you walk after eating dinner, the process of gastric emptying of the meal is accelerated leading to better digestion. In turn, this prevents various stomach complications such as acidity or indigestion that people may experience after eating their meals.

Walking not only improves the blood circulation in the body, but also relieves stress. Even 100 steps after dinner may lead to a better night’s sleep.[1]

Walking after dinner stimulates the muscles to move food along faster, reducing stress on the stomach, and increasing overall blood flow, which prevents or relieves digestive distress like heartburn and Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The immediate metabolic benefit is that when you perform any moderate activity like walking, your body converts food stores into energy to fuel the increased level of activity. Walking after a meal stimulates your body to boost your metabolic rate, which will utilize more calories from your meal as opposed to converting them into glucose or fat storage. More importantly, the metabolic benefits can be amplified if that activity happens on a regular basis.

As you walk more regularly, your body begins to adjust your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is your caloric burn rate when at rest or the minimum calories you need to function, in order to maintain a base rate that is primed for the higher level of activity. Over time, even small increases in activity can increase your BMR.

A 3mph (average pace) walk for 15 minutes after dinner may “only” burn around 40 calories, but those 40 calories add up.

While a brisk 60-minute walk is much better than a 15-minute leisurely walk, any walk is better than no walk at all. The idea is to habituate a moderate, post-meal walk into your daily life first, and then work on increasing duration and intensity.

 


[1] Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D. Petty. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 8.2 (2006): 106. Print.

 

References

Anahad O’Connor, “Really? The Claim: Taking a Walk After a Meal Aids Digestion”, well.blogs.nytimes.com, accessed December 2016. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/really-the-claim-taking-a-walk-after-a-meal-aids-digestion/?_r=0

Matthew J. Edlund, “When to Walk? Try After Meals”, psychologytoday.com, accessed December 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201307/when-walk-try-after-meals

Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti, “Surprising benefits of walking a 100 steps after dinner”, healthsite.com, accessed December 2016. http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/surprising-benefits-of-walking-a-100-steps-after-dinner/

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