Zee Media Bureau
Wellington: A new research suggests taking a short walk immediately after meals can help people with Type 2 diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels.
The study suggests diabetics should consider a short walk after each meal, particularly when they contain a substantial amount of carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.
The findings showed that post-meal blood sugar levels dropped 12 per cent on average when the participants followed the "walking after meals" advice compared to walking at any time of the day.
This shows that the timing of the exercise plays a critical role in controlling levels of glucose in the blood.
"Most of this effect came from the highly significant 22 per cent reduction in blood sugar when walking after evening meals, which were the most carbohydrate heavy, and were followed by the most sedentary time," said lead author Andrew Reynolds from University of Otago in New Zealand.
Post-meal glucose is regarded as an important target in managing Type 2 diabetes, given its independent contribution to overall blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk, added Jim Mann, professor at University of Otago.
"Postprandial physical activity may avoid the need for an increased total insulin dose or additional mealtime insulin injections that might otherwise have been prescribed to lower glucose levels after eating," Mann said.
For the study, the researchers prescribed walking to 41 patients with Type 2 diabetes in two-week blocks, separated by a month.
An increase in insulin dose might, in turn, be associated with weight gain in patients with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are already overweight or obese, he stated.
Control of blood sugar is vital to reducing the risk of heart disease, and of complications linked to diabetes.
Regular exercise has long been known to reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, although the exact link between the two is not well-known.
The results are published in the journal Diabetologia.
(With IANS inputs)