In this article, you will find (i) the benefits of walking after a meal and (ii) does walking after a meal help with digestion.
Whenever we have a meal, whether small or big, the digestive process starts, which requires blood flow to the stomach. So, if there is any activity after a meal or snack, there can be interferences in the blood flow to the stomach, and the blood instead flows to the extremities. This can create a kind of flux in your digestive system, which is likely to cause acidity, flatulence, undigested food, constipation, obesity, and many other complications.
On the other side, post-meal activity benefits to keep blood sugar spikes in control. Walking is a low-impact activity, easy on the joints, and can be done almost anywhere and offers the maximum benefits post-meal.
Walking stirs up the intestines and stomach. It enhances the absorption of nutrients. As a result, food tends to move through the digestive system efficiently. In addition, it can reduce bloating, especially for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
According to a study in Sports Medicine, when people go for a light walk after meals, their blood sugar levels rise and fall slowly, and so their insulin levels stabilize. Some experts suggest a light walk of two to five minutes should do the trick since our blood sugar levels begin spiking between sixty and 90 minutes after eating. Walking after meals may help lower blood pressure. A short spell of relaxed walk benefits in other ways also. It burns calories after eating, creates a calorie deficit, and helps in weight loss. Studies show that a thirty-minute walk after a meal at a mild pace helps burn up to 150 calories.
Confused with so much information. So what to do?
Just follow these simple post-meal guidelines to get the best results.
How Long After A Meal Should You Start Walking?
Most studies suggest walking after thirty minutes, but according to Vedic wisdom, a longer gap gets the best results. If it is a heavy meal, then one must wait longer and start strolling slowly with relaxed breathing that will further support and help with digestion.
Does a Post-Meal Tea Help?
Avoid coffee, black tea, or any caffeinated drink after meals. You may have chamomile tea with ginger, mint, nutmeg, and slight jaggery after an hour and a half post a really big meal.
Sit in Vajrasana for a while
Shut your eyes and sit in vajrasana pose for a few minutes after eating. Just focus on gently breathing in through your nose and gently breathing out through your mouth. This will ease the knots in your body to relax, help with digestion, and prepare your body for a good walk.
Practise gentle, slow walking
This helps loosen up your body and relax your mind, releasing stress from your stiff legs and back.
It is an effective way to shed the burden of any thoughts, conflicts, and disharmony of the day, either at work, travel, or home. It decreases the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in the body while boosting happiness hormones, such as endorphins and oxytocin. A gentle walk helps you sleep well and a little longer.
Do not stress yourself. In the beginning, if you can only manage a couple of minutes of light walking after meals, that too has more benefits than not moving at all. Our ancient systems of holistic medicine, too, had recommended 100 steps after dinner. What matters is consistency and building a rhythm that you can maintain and feel good about so that you do not tend to skip the routine.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is an ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed the Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, “Age is just a number!”
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is general and for information only because it doesn’t consider your health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalized health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should determine if the information is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.