The Best Walking Plan to Help Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels (Eating Well)
Posted: Jan 28, 2023 in In the News
This article originally appeared in Eating Well on January 28, 2023.
The Best Walking Plan to Help Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
By Karla Walsh
Just like your natural melatonin levels fall and rise at certain times of the day, so does your blood sugar. After you eat, your blood sugar increases, and the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This hormone signals the body to soak up glucose, lowering blood sugar along the way. The body uses the glucose in one of three ways:
- Uses that sugar as fuel now
- Stores that energy in the liver as glycogen to use later
- Converts it into fatty acids to store as fat in our adipose tissue
For individuals who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance can derail or hamper this process. Whether you have diabetes or not, however, it's ideal to keep blood sugar levels within a fairly steady range to help maintain sustained energy and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.
One of the easiest, most affordable and most effective ways to help your body stay sugar-steady? Lacing up your sneakers and going for a stroll. Research shows that a post-meal walk as short as two to five minutes may have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, and the benefits multiply if you take even more steps and make physical activity a regular part of your routine.
Read on to find out more about why walking is so beneficial for blood sugar stability, plus score a four-week trainer-approved walking plan that will help you keep your blood sugar—and energy levels—within a healthy range and even-keeled from morning to night.
How Walking Benefits Blood Sugar Levels
The movements your body makes while walking stimulate muscle contractions and blood flow, which helps deliver glucose from outside the muscle cell to inside, explains Michele Canon, NASM, CPT, a Pasadena, California-based fitness nutrition specialist, behavioral change coach and an XPro for Stride Fitness on Xponential in Pasadena.
Because sugar molecules in the blood cannot enter muscles without an "escort" of sorts, they have to be carried along with the help of insulin, adds James S. Skinner, Ph.D., a senior advisor on exercise for the American Council on Exercise and professor emeritus at the department of kinesiology at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Read the full article here.
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