Study shows a 15-minute, moderate-speed walk a half-hour after eating can control older folks’ spikes in blood sugar

It’s no news that walking is good for your health or for preventing diabetes, but a new study published in Diabetes Care says a 15-minute, moderate-speed walk about 30 minutes after eating, which is when blood sugar spikes, is most beneficial for older individuals needing to control blood-sugar levels.

As you age, the process in which insulin converts sugar and glucose from your food into muscle cells, and the liver where it’s stored for energy, doesn’t work as well as it did when you were younger. Leaving too much glucose in the blood can lead to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular damage.

Exercise has long been known to helps prevent these effects. And while many individuals may not be able to get the recommended 45 minutes of exercise most days of the week, the study shows how you can be smart and get the most out of your exercising time. Compared to 45-minute walks in the morning and afternoon, the study says that only the 15-minute, post-meal walks managed to significantly reduce blood sugar spikes during the important three-hour post-meal window, reports Brian Alexander of NBC News.

This is the first controlled experiments of its kind and could be useful for pregnant women at risk for gestational diabetes who may not be able to exercise for 45 minutes,” the study’s leader, Loretta DiPietro of the Department of Exercise Science at The George Washington University, told NBC.

“This is not for weight loss, and it’s not going to increase your cardiovascular fitness very much,” DiPietro said. “It’s very specifically for glycemic control with older age.”

But the study’s findings benefit everyone because we all experience glucose spikes after eating, said DiPietro.

Remember to take precautions when walking at night, especially considering less than half of Kentucky adults live in communities with elements such as sidewalks or shoulders that allow for safe walking or bicycling.

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