The After Dinner Walk


     The last couple of weeks have been very busy in my world and the next two look like they might be busier still. I take advantage of small breaks, even 15 minute work breaks, to get in little doses of exercise when I can’t spare an hour at a time and still I haven’t gotten in all of my fitness minutes. My very supportive husband took me for an after dinner walk last night to help me make the most of a bit of free time. It started out as a rather leisurely stroll under the umbrella, since it was raining. The rain subsided and our energy grew. We ended up walking 3 miles at a 3 mile per hour pace. It was energizing and fun being together, even if it wasn’t the normal “burn it off” pace.

     I was reading this morning and found out that our little walk might have been more beneficial than I realized. There is research to suggest that walking right after a meal, even at a leisurely pace, may be better for weight loss than walking at other times of the day.  I won’t try to explain the science in detail, because I am no scientist, but it’s all about the pancreas.

      Your pancreas performs two functions. “The first role is the manufacture of digestive enzymes and hormones that transform food into energy, or blood sugar, which enables you to walk. The pancreas’ second job is to regulate how your body uses that blood sugar during exercise, such as walking.” When you eat, your pancreas performs its first function. This leads to increases in blood sugar levels and in the inactive person this can contribute to weight gain. However, if you go for a walk following the meal, this causes the pancreas to perform its second action regulating how the body’s uses the blood sugar. If both processes are triggered then the body is prompted to lower the blood sugar by using the sugars produced for energy. When blood sugar is kept in balance the body burns fat better instead of trying to store more fat. The blood sugar balance determines whether we store or burn fat. Lets do everything we can to burn! Lets take an after dinner walk.

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