5 Reasons To Walk After Dinner

From improved digestion to better blood sugar management, a stroll around the park is the perfect way to add a finishing touch to a dinner.

By URLife Team
29 Jul 2023

While not everyone may find walking after a meal is enjoyable, for many people, it can be a pleasurable and beneficial activity, both for physical and mental well-being. The key to finding the activity enjoyable is to walk at a comfortable pace, enjoy the company of others if possible, and appreciate the benefits that even a short post-meal stroll can bring. 

Walking is a good low-intensity exercise. But, what about doing it after a meal? Besides this, walking can significantly improve cardiovascular health, weight management, mood, and reduce stress. 


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The Best Time to Walk

As per a 2020 study published in Nutrients, the best time to walk is immediately after a meal as the body is trying to digest the food you’ve eaten, allowing you to obtain benefits like improved digestion and blood sugar management.

For optimal health benefits, it's advisable to engage in a walk within 60 to 90 minutes after completing a meal, as this is typically when blood sugar levels peak. Whether it's a leisurely walk around the block, a brief stroll around the office after lunch, or even taking a phone call while on the move, any form of walking is beneficial. If you find yourself confined to your desk or unable to leave due to commitments, even standing can be beneficial as it requires more muscle activation compared to sitting or lying down. Once activated, these muscles utilise energy from the recently consumed food and assist in ushering sugar out of the bloodstream. 


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How Long Should You Walk?

Walking after meals for approximately 10 minutes allows you to reap the potential benefits while avoiding any drawbacks, such as an upset stomach. Furthermore, this duration facilitates the incorporation of walks into your daily routine without significantly impacting your schedule.

So, whether you can take a walk or simply stand up and move around, your body will thank you for the active post-meal approach. 


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5 Reasons To Walk After Dinner

Walking after a meal doesn't need to be an intense exercise routine; even a stroll can offer many of these benefits. However, for some individuals, particularly those with certain medical conditions, it may be best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine. Overall, incorporating a short walk after meals can be a simple and enjoyable way to enhance health and well-being. 

1. Can improve digestion:  Walking after eating can indeed aid in digestion by stimulating the stomach and intestines, resulting in improved food movement through the digestive system. As per a 2020 study issued in PLoS One,  the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in people with irritated bowel syndrome was lessened when they walked after having meals. 

2. May help reduce blood sugar levels: Taking a post-meal walk can be particularly advantageous for individuals with diabetes or other blood sugar issues. Engaging in a walk after eating can aid in stabilising blood glucose levels, offering specific benefits for those managing their blood sugar. According to a 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, slow walking for 15 min started immediately following a meal resulted in a 1.5 mmol/L reduction in blood glucose concentration. 

3. Support mental health: Walking presents a potential method to enhance mental health as it aids in the reduction of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
During a walk, the body releases endorphins, which function as natural painkillers. These endorphins play a role in diminishing discomfort, elevating mood, alleviating stress, and inducing feelings of relaxation.

4. Improves heart health: According to a 2022 study issued by the journal Sports Medicine, taking a brief walk after eating can lower the chances of heart issues. 

5. Better  sleep: Exercise helps regulate the body's internal clock (circadian rhythm), reduces stress and anxiety, and tires the body, making it easier to fall asleep. For some individuals, consistent exercise can be as effective as medication for managing insomnia. Walking after a meal can be a pleasant and healthy habit, whether for improving sleep or simply for general health and enjoyment.


As with any exercise routine or lifestyle change, it's essential to listen to your body and choose activities that suit your individual preferences and needs. If you have any specific health concerns or conditions, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or modifying an exercise routine.


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