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Walks After Meals Help Diabetics Keep Blood Sugar in Check

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS2/FOX28) -- More than 8% of the American population has diabetes and more than double that number are at risk of developing diabetes. It’s no secret that exercise helps to bring down their blood sugar. A new study released today says the timing of that exercise is even more important than simply doing it.

“With my walking and my exercising, it keeps be below that,” said Rick Davis, who exercises often to keep his diabetes in check. “I don’t have to take any insulin or do anything.”

Davis says he walks about five miles every other day and swims on the days that he does not walk. Don’t worry. You do not have to work quite that hard to stay healthy. This new study says people with Type 2 diabetes, or even those just at risk of it, could drastically reduce their blood sugar levels if they just walked for 15 minutes after each meal.

“The food that you eat, carbohydrates in particular, raise your blood sugar and so the blood sugars are usually the highest after eating a meal,” said St. Luke’s Hospital’s Diabetes Educator Paula Diers.

After you have downed the last of your lunch, do not just sit around. Simple actions help because your muscles use the sugar in your blood as fuel.

“We’ll say just do something,” said Diers. “Instead of reading the paper, even if you’re sweeping the floor or doing dishes, just moving.”

But you should be active throughout the day. The key to getting the most out of your post-meal exercise is not to do it all together. One 45-minute walk after dinner does not make up for the 15-minute walks you missed after breakfast and lunch.

It’s easy to put off until tomorrow, but consistent movement is the key.

“It’s 80 and muggy today, but you got to do it,” said Davis.

The experts say there is some truth to the age-old tale that you should exercise right after eating. So these walks would be most effective about a half-hour after eating.

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Washington Times