We are all too familiar with the overstuffed feeling after a big meal/feeding frenzy. As tempting as laying on the couch afterwards may be (we may or may not be guilty of this), taking a short walk instead will actually help your body digest that loaded-up barbecue.
According to an article published today in The New York Times, it turns out a walk, even as short as fifteen minutes, can aid in breaking down food and even improve blood-sugar levels. Here's some motivation for moving: In one study, German researchers discovered that walking accelerated the rate at which food passed through the stomach. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it could mean the difference between feeling bloated and blah, versus sound and satiated.
There is also a general consensus that a brief stroll after meals can ameliorate blood-sugar control. In another study, scientists found that in overweight, sedentary older adults, fifteen minutes of strutting their stuff after each meal improved daily blood-sugar levels more effectively than a single 45-minute morning walk. What's the science behind all this? Researchers believe that a post-meal walk helps in clearing glucose from the bloodstream, because more of the sugar is taken up by our muscles.
Photographed by Aaron Richter.