Walking After Meals, Part 2: Guidelines

The positive effects of exercise on health have been proven time and time again.

In recent years, a growing trend in the health and fitness community has been to take a short walk after each meal to yield various health benefits.

Welcome to Part Two of our miniseries about Walking After Eating. In Part One, we discussed the benefits — in Part Two, we’ll explore the potential downsides, the best times for a post-meal stroll, and how long you should be walkin’.

The Potential downsides to walking after eating

! May cause upset stomach

While walking after eating has very few associated negative side effects, there is one that should be mentioned.

Some people may experience an upset stomach when walking after eating, with symptoms like:

  • indigestion
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • gas
  • bloating

This can happen when food that’s been recently eaten moves around in your stomach, creating a less-than-ideal environment for digestion.

If you experience any of these symptoms, try to wait 10–15 minutes after meals before walking and keep the walking intensity low.

The best time to walk

Based on current data, the ideal time to walk appears to be immediately following a meal.

At this time, your body is still working to digest the food you’ve eaten, allowing you to obtain benefits like improved digestion and blood sugar management.

While walking after all your meals may lead to the most optimal benefits, simply taking a walk after dinner can be a great start.

How long should you walk?

Proponents of walking after meals suggest that you should start by walking for 10 minutes and then increase the duration as tolerated.

Keeping your walks to around 10 minutes lets you yield the potential benefits while preventing downsides like an upset stomach. Plus, this duration makes it easier to fit in the walks throughout your day without greatly affecting your schedule.

By completing three 10-minute walks per day, you can easily accumulate 30 minutes of daily physical activity, thus meeting the recommended guidelines from the DHHS.

Regulate the intensity

While you may think that if walking after meals is good, then jogging after meals must be better, this is likely not the case.

During the initial digestion process following a meal, you’re at an increased risk of getting an upset stomach if exercising too intensely. Thus, you should keep the intensity low to moderate — aim for an elevated heart rate without being out of breath.

A brisk walk at a pace of no more than 3 miles per hour will allow you to yield the benefits while most likely avoiding an upset stomach.

Some people may react differently to walking after meals, so it’s important to start out with a lower intensity if you’re not in the habit of frequent physical activity yet.

TL;DR

The main benefits of walking after meals include improved digestion, heart health, blood sugar management, regulated blood pressure, and weight loss. There are few downsides to this activity, so long as you start with low to moderate intensity to see how your body reacts.

848 Comments
  • Charles Subke
    Posted at 18:39h, 05 October

    Thanks

  • Barry Allen
    Posted at 21:37h, 02 October

    Thank you for sharing

  • Barry Allen
    Posted at 21:35h, 02 October

    Thank you

  • Anitra Sanders
    Posted at 21:34h, 02 October

    Very interesting

  • Connie kindley
    Posted at 23:12h, 01 October

    Thanks for the information it was helpful

  • Tanya
    Posted at 22:09h, 01 October

    Thanks!!

  • Lorna Farris
    Posted at 21:02h, 01 October

    Thanks

  • Darryl Solomon
    Posted at 14:44h, 01 October

    Really good information for me and my spouse.

  • Jennifer Privette
    Posted at 00:51h, 01 October

    Good information

  • Jennifer Privette
    Posted at 00:50h, 01 October

    Interesting

  • Heather Critz
    Posted at 00:11h, 01 October

    Thanks for the info

  • Anthony Johnson
    Posted at 23:05h, 30 September

    Thanks

  • Renita Mosely
    Posted at 20:41h, 30 September

    I think it is a good idea to walk after eating but I am not agreeing with immediately after a meal. One time I tried this idea. I was visiting in NY. We ate a meal and immediately begin to walk afterwards. I think we walked a couple of blocks and my side started hurting. I explained to the guy that I needed to take a break. He said “You Southerners are lazy!” I said “No, we have buses , cars and taxis. We don’t have to suffer like this!” He realized after looking at my painful expression that I was serious about my side hurting! LOL! Anyways, I never had to endure that again! I think maybe I ate too much. I will try this idea on my own the next time. Therefore, I can regulate how fast I can walk and for how long!

  • Aurora beaudreau
    Posted at 18:40h, 30 September

    Thank you.

  • JACQUELINE MANUEL
    Posted at 13:33h, 30 September

    Great stuff!

  • JACQUELINE MANUEL
    Posted at 13:29h, 30 September

    Thanks

  • Kenya White
    Posted at 13:10h, 30 September

    Thank u

  • AnnWorn
    Posted at 03:18h, 30 September

    Thanks

  • Robert T Lucas
    Posted at 23:46h, 29 September

    Thanks for info

  • Geraldine G McGrady
    Posted at 23:04h, 29 September

    Great thanks

  • Jim Hemmila
    Posted at 22:58h, 29 September

    Thanks

  • Susan Townsend
    Posted at 22:46h, 29 September

    Very informative. Thank you for the work you do..

  • Tammy Busler
    Posted at 21:48h, 29 September

    Thanks great information

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