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Walking after eating dinner or any meal for that matter is the best way to solve 80% of your common health problems. No medicines, no equipment, no expenses, nothing at all, just a quick 20 – 30 minutes walk after a meal and you are good to go.
In my opinion, this is one of the best natural ways of improving various functions of our body. And top of that it’s absolutely free. Just put on your walking shoes and enjoy the benefits of walking for a healthy life.
Benefits of walking after dinner:
1. Better digestion
2. Less stomach problem
3. Speed up metabolism
4. Improved blood circulation
5. Lowers triglycerides
6. Controls blood glucose levels
7. Burn more calories
8. Helps in your weight loss efforts
9. Prevent obesity
10. Stronger Immune system
11. Relieve stress
12. Better sleep
13. Quality time with your companion
How to maximize the benefits of walking after eating dinner?
As you know, digestion is a very important function of our system. This is the phase where our body gets its fuel as essential food nutrients. All the macronutrients and micronutrients get separated here from our food.
And this takes time, even when digestion starts as soon as we finish our meal. But, when you don’t chew the food properly or drink too much water along, it can slow down the digestion process significantly.
This results in poor digestion which turns into so many stomach issues.
So, what does walking after eating do for you?
Walking after eating a meal helps food to move properly through our digestive system. It further activates our gastric enzymes and juices to assimilate food properly and better absorption of food nutrients.
Around 60% of people suffer from micro-nutrients deficiency, lacking essential vitamins and minerals. One of the main reason for these deficiencies is poor digestion. Even if you eat healthily but if you have poor digestion, it doesn’t matter. Your body will not get the required vitamins and minerals to work properly.
Fewer stomach problems
As you know now, walking after eating dinner or any other meal whether it’s breakfast or lunch, It significantly aids in digestion.
Better digestion means a happy stomach!
Every third person you see suffers from stomach issues or also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), every now and then. It may be in the form of acidity, heartburn, constipation or in worse case diarrhea which just weakens the body instantly.
What is Acid Reflux or Heartburn?
Acid reflux or generally known as heartburn, a burning sensation or pain in the chest. This is the most common problem people face after eating. However, it is temporary and goes away after a few hours but it can seriously mess with your good night sleep.
What actually happens is our Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), a muscle which works as a one-way valve to prevent food and GI tract acids from coming back towards the Esophagus. Because of poor digestion, It can’t hold on and releases the acids & juices nevertheless.
This creates a burning sensation or pain in the chest.
The best way to avoid these problems is to aid digestion in its process. Healthy food choice, proper chewing and making a habit of walking after eating is the way to do it.
Speed up metabolism
The next process after digestion is what we call metabolism. In this, our body converts the broken molecules of food further into energy. This process involves a very complex biochemical process by which the calories in our food and oxygen is released into the form of the energy required by the various organism in our body to function.
Walking after eating speeds up digestion as well as metabolism too. It helps our cell organisms to work more and get a better flow of oxygen into our system to speed up the required biochemical process to release energy.
Improved blood circulation
Blood circulation is the life running in our body. It is required by every body part, organ and muscle in our body to function properly.
If blood circulation gets blocked even for a minute, it starts to harm related body parts and organs. We often see people having low blood pressure or high blood pressure, it is closely related to blood circulation.
Walking after eating meal helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body. Because our whole body parts work when walking, head to toe literally.
Walking after eating meals lowers your triglycerides levels and keeps them under control. How?
Triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins are the sticky substance found in our fat tissues and blood. The higher concentration of these in the blood becomes more dangerous which results in clogged arteries. And further causes cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.
As you know, walking helps in improving blood circulation throughout the body. It also prevents build-up of the triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins also known as bad cholesterol.
So, start going for a walk after eating and keep your heart healthy.
Controls blood glucose levels
Yes, you read right. Walking right after eating meal helps in controlling your blood glucose levels, especially for people struggling with Type 2 diabetes and after meal blood sugar level spikes.
The point is after eating a meal, our blood glucose level reaches its highest in around 30 – 60 minutes.
When you go for a walk, you use the energy in your blood which is actually the glucose. Consuming energy to walk lowers the glucose level in the blood. So, when your digestive system starts to release glucose into your blood, your blood glucose level doesn’t spike suddenly which prevents hyperglycemia.
This habit of walking post meals is very beneficial for people diagnosed with pre-diabetes or seeing symptoms of it. It can help them stop this condition for going further and become a permanent condition of type 2 diabetes.
Burn more calories
As you know, walking is a form of exercise. Adding a habit of walking after dinner allows you to burn additional calories from your system. More muscles you use during the walk, the more calories are burned.
It boosts your metabolism and keeps it active for a longer period as well.
Helps in your weight loss efforts
If you want to lose weight and gain fitness, every effort counts, no matter how small it is. Well, walking after taking meals is not a small effort.
It significantly affects your calorie burn especially after dinner when the next thing you are going to do is to sleep, a no physical activity phase for long hours.
This post-meal walk ensures your metabolism is active even during sleep to burn additional calories.
As soon as digestion starts, glucose gets created in our system. To counter and remove extra glucose from our blood, our pancreas releases Insulin.
Now, insulin is an obesity hormone. Its main job is to remove excess glucose from our blood and store it in the fat tissues.
Meaning, the more glucose you have in the system, more glucose gets stored in fat tissues, making you obese.
As you know, walking helps you control the blood glucose levels after eating, it also reduces the requirement of insulin release to counter excess glucose. And because of walking, glucose levels in the blood remains normal and no need for the insulin burst into the system.
So, don’t forget to walk after eating if you want to stay slim trim and not obese.
Stronger Immune system
Better digestion, healthy stomach, and boosted metabolism is the recipe of a strong immune system. A stronger immune system means fewer infections, less possibility of diseases and further complications.
If you can develop a strong immune system, bad effects of weather can’t even touch you such as cold, cough, allergies etc.
So, add one more habit of walking after dinner in your lifestyle and develop a strong immune system.
Feeling stressed or going through depression?
Try walking after dinner tonight, it will reduce your stress level and depressive mood.
Walking after dinner or any meal helps you relieve all the stress. First, it helps your food to move through the gastrointestinal tract, GI tract easily. So no more tightness and stuffed feeling in the chest.
Second, walking boosts endorphins (part of our nervous system) ability to fight stress and natural pain.
This boost in endorphins function helps to relieve stress significantly. And you feel good.
Stress is normal with today’s life. But a simple habit of walking after dinner can relieve you from stress and bad mood.
When your digestion is working fine, stress is relieved and you have burned some calories, this is what body needs for a sound sleep.
If you suffer from sleep deprivation, waking up in the midnight without no reason, don’t feel fully active in the morning, this is exactly what you need.
Start walking after dinner regularly and you will see the results yourself. No more lack of sleep and fully charged body in the morning.
Quality time with your companion
In today’s busy and fast life, we don’t get enough quality time to spend with our close ones.
And one of the great benefits of walking post dinner is that you get to spend some quality time with your companion. Now, it can be your family, friend or even your dog.
A good peaceful quality time can cheer you up and make you forget all the problems and tension in the life for the time being. And post dinner walk is a great time option to enjoy the life with your close ones.
Some Final Thoughts
Okay, so you are ready to go for a walk after dinner but let me tell you some great points to maximize the benefits of your walk.
• Do not drink too much water when finishing your meal. 2-3 sips are okay but not more than that until at least for 30 minutes. You don’t want to dilute your digestive juices too much to result in poor digestion.
• You should not drink chilled water as well with meals. It slows down your digestion significantly.
• As soon as you finish the meal, get ready for the walk. Take 5-10 minutes, if you need to dress up appropriately along with proper shoes for walking, but not more than that.
• 30 minutes walk works best for this. But in the beginning, you can start with 15 minutes walk until you feel comfortable to go for a full 30 minutes.
• Start with 5 minutes light walk, to let the food in the GI tract and the rest of the body adapt the movements. So, you don’t feel discomfort in stomach and chest because of sudden activity stress.
• After 5 minutes, brisk walk for the remaining 25 minutes. According to studies, a brisk walk gives twice the benefits than a stroll. It’s the right amount of workout your body needs after meals.
• If you are having dinner outside at some restaurant, don’t take the cab straight away. Do your routine right there and complete your walk towards home. And then you can take the cab if needed. However, if you are in an unknown area, it’s better to reach home first and do your walk there rather than risking safety.
• If you are walking after dark or late night, wear an appropriate light colored dress for maximum recognition from far away. You don’t want vehicles bumping into you.
• And if you can afford, Buy a Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch to take your walk and safety to the next level. It has a lot of great features which will make your walk more interesting.