Taking brief walks after every meal may help people with diabetes control blood sugar better than a single longer daily walk, according to a study from New Zealand in Diabetologia. For two weeks, 41 people with type 2 diabetes (average age 60) either walked for 10 minutes shortly after each of their three main meals or walked once for 30 minutes at any time of day; then they switched regimens for the next two weeks.
Blood sugar control, measured during the three hours after each meal, was significantly better when people did the post-meal walks. The improvement was especially striking after the evening meals (usually high in carbohydrates), when people tend otherwise to be most sedentary.
Future research should evaluate whether longer post-meal walks would produce greater benefits, the researchers noted, and whether these post-meal benefits would translate into an overall improvement in blood sugar control in longer studies.
Also see Exercising Before Meals and Blood Sugar.