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Walking after eating - is it a good idea?

September 22, 2022

After eating, there are better thing to do than to sit in front of the TV or take a nap. Instead, a much more sensible choice would be to go for a walk or some other form of light physical activity. There are numerous scientific arguments in favor of this. Here are the most interesting and relevant ones.

Walking after eating and sugar levels

If you have diabetes, you know that what you eat and how active you are can affect your blood sugar levels. Walking is a great way to help control your blood sugar levels. Walking after eating can help your body to better use the insulin that it produces.

Of course, walking after eating can also have those benefits for people who do not suffer from diabates. Doing physical activity after eating prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly, which has significant benefits for both of these groups. A small study conducted by professors at George Washington University indicates that this effect can last for up to 2 hours after walking. In contrast, another study conducted in 2016 indicates that a short walk after eating can have a more positive effect in this area than even a walk three times as long at other times.

Walking after eating and benefits for the heart

Walking is great for the heart. It helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, and can even lower blood pressure. Walking has been pointed out for years as one of the easiest activities we can do regularly to keep our blood pressure under control. Shorter but frequent walks - for example, three ten-minute strolls a day - are indicated as particularly effective in this regard. This, of course, also has a positive effect on our heart, as a more efficient circulatory system reduces the risk of, among other things, a heart attack. 

Better digestion after walking

Walking after eating is a great way to help with digestion. Movement stimulates the stomach and intestines which can speed up and facilitate the process. It is worth noting, however, that more intense movement can be counterproductive. Walking too fast can cause digestive problems, nausea or bloating. For this reason, walking after eating should not be very demanding and fast. 

How long should you walk every day?

If you are wondering how many steps you should take a day, you shoud check out our previous article. According to some experts, the recommended daily number of steps is 10 000. However, to start with, you can set a smaller goal, more suited to your abilities.

However, it is important to be consistent with your plan. In order to feel the long-term benefits of walking, the goal must be met every day. If you already tried traditional trackers, and didn't find the motivating, we also invite you to try Fitale! Fitale is a fitness based mobile game, in which your steps can be exchanged for progress in the app. Fitale is free and you can check it out here, on the AppStore.


1. Shaw E., Farris M., Stone C., Effects of physical activity on colorectal cancer risk among family history and body mass index subgroups: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC Cancer, 2018

2. Reynolds A., Mann J., Williams S., Venn B., Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomised crossover study, Diabetologia, 2016 

3. DiPietro L., Gribok A., Stevens M., Hamm L., Rumpler W., Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance, Diabetes Care, 2013 

5. Park S., Rink L., Wallace J., Accumulation of physical activity: blood pressure reduction between 10-min walking sessions, J Hum Hypertens, 2008 

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