Issue 47 September 2012
3. Walking after Eating Lowers Glucose

Glucose level may reduce if you go for a walk or other light exercise after meals rather than a cat snap. Dr. Yogish Kudva, (lead author of the study at Mayo Clinic in Rochester)and his team examined 24 study participants: 12 with type 1 diabetes and 12 healthy controls.

The researchers monitored the participants' diet and calorie intake, physical activity and glucose levels in a controlled environment for three days and four nights.Implanted continuous glucose sensors measured glucose levels and wearable triaxial accelerometers reported body positions and movement to measure activity.

The participants walked after two of their daily meals and sat after a randomly designated third meal. When walking, they walked and rested in intervals, moving for 33.5 minutes and sitting for 26.5 minutes. In total, the participants walked for five to six hours every day at 1.9 kmph (1.2 mph), for a total of roughly 5.6-6.7 km (3.5-4.2 miles) in each 24 hour period.

The researchers reported data for the glucose measurements taken 4.5 hours after eating. At that interval, healthy people had a 113% increase in glucose levels after inactivity compared to when they walked (p=0.024). Their incremental glucose area above basal was 4.5 mmol/L at 270 minutes with exercise and 9.6 mmol/L at 270 minutes after inactivity.

The diabetes patients had 145% higher glucose after inactivity compared to when they walked (p<0.001). After walking, their incremental glucose area above basal was 7.5 mmol/L/270 minutes. And after inactivity, it was 18.4 mmol/L/270 minutes.

The researchers suggest that other activities such as washing the dishes after a meal could have similar effects to walking.

Dr.Yogish Kudva

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