Moment of Me: Go Take a Walk
By Itorye Silver, TSS Health and Wellness Guru
It’s 7:30pm but the sun lingers on the horizon and although I have stuffed myself silly on BBQ chicken and salad I know I must walk. Walking after meals is said to aid digestion and improve overall health, and yet how often do we take the time for a stroll? Walking was at one point in our lives our crowning achievement. No longer floor-dwellers, we clapped as we moved to celebrate our coordination and strength but at some point most of us forgot how freaking amazing walking is and instead begrudge the action. We need to remember our baby joy and walk more. It reduces our chances of heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, depression, and it’s easy.
An old Chinese proverb states:
After a meal, walk a hundred steps to live to be ninety-nine.
I had always heard the saying “a hundred steps to good health and prosperity”, which sounds a lot like a great title to a self-help book, but a hundred steps is only about 5 minutes of walking and perhaps the term prosperity is one step too far. Get it? A step too far. Well, it certainly is a few steps in the right direction though, right? (Okay I’ll stop with the step jokes.) This is no laughing matter. Often the steps, or interventions, needed for good health are simple, small changes. Even a quick walk to the car after dinner can be better for you than none at all, so park further from the restaurant and get your hundred steps.
One study from 2009 examined the effects of moderate exercise or no exercise on the glycemic response to an evening (dinner) meal in individuals and found that a 10-minute stroll helped to clear glucose from the bloodstream in part because more of it is taken up by the muscles. Many of us may feel like a nap after dinner but isn’t a few minutes of walking worth it to help improve your digestion and provide greater blood-sugar control. With our longest days of the year upon us, is there any real reason to not take an after-dinner walkabout? The benefits of this small measure are out of proportion with the effort. How often is that a thing? Not often enough, so take advantage.