Diabetics can benefit from daily walks, but when should you walk and for how long?

Diabetes

By pH health care professionals

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may have heard that you could benefit from daily walks. But did you know that when you walk can make a difference?

In a new study published in Diabetologia, scientists compared two sets of advice adults with Type 2 diabetes are often given: going for a 30-minute walk each day, or walking for 10 minutes after each main meal.

What they found? Yes, the timing matters! Participants’ blood glucose levels were much lower when they walked for just 10 minutes after each meal, vs. walking 30-minutes on a single daily occasion. The scientists concluded that current guidelines should be more specific in recommending walking post-meal, especially when the meal is heavy on carbohydrates.

Note, we aren’t suggesting that you only need to walk ten minutes, but improvements have been shown on blood glucose with ten minutes. So try walking 10 minutes after a meal, 3x a day and see what changes you experience.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, here a few ways to make sure you are walking after each meal:

  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to go for a walk after a meal.

  • Find a walking buddy.

  • Don’t eat too late, so you won’t feel too exhausted to go for a walk.

  • Get a pedometer and track how many steps you take on “good days” so you have a baseline.

Pro tips for walkers:

  • Warm up first by walking in place or start out walking at a slower pace than normal for 3-5 minutes.

  • Keep good posture. Gaze forward, not down at the ground, with your chin level and head up.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking throughout the day.

  • Wear shoes designed for walking or exercise for greater comfort and to prevent injuries.

Want other tips on managing Type 2 diabetes?

Click here to read about how standing at work can benefit Type 2 diabetics, or click here to read about how you can fight obesity and diabetes together.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, health care attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

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