The causes of chronic pain are many and varied but a condition I see with increasing frequently is chronic pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. This isn’t particularly surprising given the significant rise in Type 2 diabetes in Australia. Treatment usually focuses on improved blood-sugar control and nerve support with the aim of slowing progression and reducing pain however, like treating any chronic condition, improvement usually results from numerous small changes made over time. As such I was heartened to read about recent research from the University of Otago in New Zealand has shown that a short walk after meals can help lower blood sugar levels.
The study compared the blood sugar lowering effects of a 30-minute daily walk to a shorter 10-minute walk after each main meal. The effect was significant with an average blood sugar drop of 12% post meals, more so after the evening meal when most carbohydrates are consumed and people tend to be sedentary.
The potential health benefits of a post meal walk go beyond lowered blood sugar levels and may also reduce the need for total or additional meal time insulin, which in turn may lead to less insulin-associated weight gain. So the out-take of this research is take 10 minutes to go for a walk after main meals. Take family, friends or your furry loved one with you or use the time for quiet contemplation, or even time out from the work place. This is a habit worth creating and I just know my dog Ed will love an after dinner stroll each evening.
Reynolds, A.N., Mann, J.I., Williams, S. and Venn, B.J., 2016. Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomised crossover study. Diabetologia, 59(12), pp.2572-2578.