After eating, don't sit on the sofa right away but take a little walk, even just for a couple of minutes. The benefits for blood glucose will be immediately measurable, as emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Sports Medicine by a group of Irish scientists (Buffey et al, Sports Medicine, 2002).
Spikes in blood sugar, risks
After eating, sugar levels increase, this is a physiological condition. But it is important to avoid that they increase too much. In fact, when, after the consumption of a meal, there is a glycemic peak, our body immediately activates to reduce it, producing a greater amount of insulin. As a result, the blood sugar will drop causing a hypoglycemic condition. In the long run, sudden excessive rises and subsequent high drops in blood sugar can pave the way for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. How to contain blood sugar peaks and consequent hypoglycemia? Certainly a healthy and balanced diet based on fruits and vegetables rich in fiber, whole cereal grains and legumes and low in saturated fats and refined sugars can help. But another ally is physical exercise. But if you think you need to run around the house ten times to get any benefit, you're wrong. Let's see what the Irish researchers say.
The importance of a short walk
Scientists have analyzed the results of previous studies performed on people with both type 2 diabetes, prediabetes but also healthy. In these studies, the volunteers were asked, immediately after eating, to sit down, or to stand or take short walks of 2-5 minutes. All had their blood sugar measured. Well, it was found that simply standing upright improved the glycemic response to meals compared to sitting down. But the best results were seen with a light walk of 2-5 minutes after eating. In these cases, blood glucose levels gradually rose and fell just as gradually, thus avoiding the dangerous alternation between blood sugar spikes and subsequent hypoglycemia. The explanation is that in this way the muscles, by activating themselves, can already use the sugars contained in the ingested foods. In addition, it was also observed that these benefits were also observed when the short walk was carried out within 90 minutes of the meal, because it is in this time frame that sugars reach their maximum.
So, now there are really no more excuses. Even a simple walk, not at a fast pace, of a couple of minutes if done after eating or at least within the next hour helps to regulate blood sugar. Of course, we have no idea what's going on in our body, and unless we measure it, we can't know our blood sugar. But not knowing doesn't mean that blood sugars can't work silently, excessively rise and then collapse, paving the way, in the long run, for conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So let's start moving after eating right now, even just for 2-5 minutes.