The Best Time to Walk Is After Your Evening Meal
A leisurely walk is all it takes
According to the researchers in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, walking shortly after a meal is a highly effective way to burn energy. We are burning calories as well, so essentially we are getting a double boost. Walking is an easy and convenient way to exercise. All we have to do is set the time and the place. Put on our shoes and head out the door.
Instead of sitting down in front of our TV sets, or endless time on our phones, we can choose to take a nice leisurely walk after our evening meal. Sitting on our butts to often quite often promotes fat-forming, fatigue, and grumpiness. Wouldn't you rather burn calories, fat and get a rush of energy by way of a walk after eating your supper? A short zip around the block is all it takes.
A healthy walk or some other light exercise program after your evening meal may also help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep according to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester MN. Light evening exercise can also help ease those late-night cravings for high fat foods and sweet sugary snacks, encouraging you to add healthy snacks instead.
A light 10 minute walk started 15-20 minutes after your meal, is all it takes to stretch our muscles and adjust our metabolism. It is best not to walk immediately after our meal, it could cause acid reflux or other stomach upsets. So wait for the meal to settle and get up and go.
Keep our pace light and comfortable, the most effective is a slow sustained walk. Avoid walking briskly, as this could make our food much harder to digest. The key ingredient here is to enjoy ourselves, stay healthy, and get energized while light walking.
Benefits of walking
The benefits of walking are far better than not walking at all. Walking in itself for the joy of walking should be enough. But unfortunately it isn't that simple. What will walking do for you? These improvements are essential for healthy mind and body.
- It can improve digestion and blood sugar levels.
- Walking 20 minutes a day will burn 7 pounds of body fat a year.
- Depression. Walking triggers endorphins, helps with relaxation, can prevent anxiety and depression.
- Heart disease. Can reduce stress, blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
- Cuts Alzheimer's Disease risk by 50% over 5 years.
- Builds and tones muscles.
- Risk factors for upper respiratory infections can be reduced by 30% by a daily walk.
- Improve sleep quality
Those are just a few of the reasons walking after a meal everyday can improve the quality of our lives. Just a short 10-15 minute walk every day to give us the gift of a better and much improved life. I can attest to this.
'It's hard enough to walk, much less walk after a meal." I know, I hear that! But the positives most certainly outweigh the negatives. But here are a few things to get you in the mood and walking after eating.
- Do you have a dog? If so, this is the perfect time to take your pooch outside.
- Do you live in the city? If so, walk home. Forget the bus, the subway or the taxi. If it's safe take the walk.
- Think positive, think of the benefits we'll reap by walking. Think of the sleep we'll get by walking after our meal.
- A good time to check out the neighborhood, stop in and visit with a neighbor, catch up on the goings on.
- A reason to buy a new pair of walking shoes.
- The beauty of being outside. Smell the fresh air, the flowers, the rain, the sun on or face.
- Think of it as preventing Type 2 diabetes.
Walking after our evening meal as many benefits as you can see. I do believe walking after our evening meal can improve our cholesterol, sugar levels, our minds, our hearts and our moods. So, those are some of the reasons walking after we eat can be a great motivator. We really have nothing to lose, well except maybe a few extra pounds. So I say let's get up and just do it.
Eat, enjoy, rest and walk, walk, walk.
© 2008 Boo McCourt