A walk after dinner: An aid to digestion?

VIKAS SINGH checks out the old adage that walking after dinner is beneficial to digestion

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Growing up in India, it was a ritual for our parents to step out for a walk after dinner.

They said it helped ‘improve digestion’.

Is walking after eating really beneficial for digestion?

Turns out it is, and here’s why:

After you finish your meals, your body gets to work; it breaks down and absorbs the nutrients. A significant portion of the food breakdown or digestion takes place in the small intestine. Research suggests that walking after a meal can help in the faster transit of food from the stomach and into the small intestine. How does this help? The faster the food transits from your stomach into the small intestine, the lesser is the likelihood of common complaints like bloating, gas, and acid reflux. Evidence also indicates that a post-meal 30-minute walk, coupled with routine exercise, can improve bowel function and lower the chances of constipation.

Choose a healthy track to manage diabetes.(Source: IANS)

A walk after dinner, known as a ‘postprandial‘ walk not only eases digestive symptoms but can be quite beneficial for individuals with type-2 diabetes. Research from New Zealand’s University of Otago indicates that for people with type-2 diabetes, walking after meals is better at reducing blood sugar levels, especially following carb-rich meals. How does that happen? The body converts food into glucose, which is a major source of energy for the body. After consuming a meal, the blood glucose levels start rising. In order to deal with this spike, the body secretes insulin, which helps drive the glucose into the cells. However, for diabetic individuals, the action of insulin is impaired, preventing the process of managing blood sugar levels. This can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood, increasing the risk of health problems. During a post-meal walk, glucose is utilized by the body to produce energy for the activity, aiding in lowering the level of glucose in the blood.

Now to address a key question – how long should you wait after a meal before you set off on your walk? Walking immediately following a meal may cause acid reflux and upset your stomach. Best to keep a gap of 30-45 minutes after your lunch or dinner to experience the most benefits. It is also recommended to walk at an easy to moderate pace after your meals, as increased intensity workouts may cause more blood to be drawn towards the working muscles and away from the gastrointestinal tract. This may cause your digestion to slow down and may also lead to indigestion.

Along with health benefits, a post-meal walk will also bring you closer to your goal of hitting 10,000 steps (a popular aspirational fitness goal) a day. Any sort of physical activity also triggers the release of endorphins, or  ‘feel-good hormones’, thereby relaxing the body. A post-meal walk is a positive step in that direction.

Now that you know the many benefits of a quick post-meal walk, it is time to make this small lifestyle change for better health and overall fitness.

READ ALSO: New guidelines for allergy management

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

new normal still isha and appu

REVIEW: New Normal

  A pivotal conversation that surrounds LGBTQIA+ discourse is the need to normalise queer relationships, as that is what they are — normal. In late April,...

India, Australia review cooperation under Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday reviewed the multi-dimensional cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Cooperation under the partnership...
HIYAAN kapil

Hiyaan Kapil, 5, dies hours after being discharged from QLD hospital

  A review will be launched by the local health department of Logan, Queensland after a young boy died hours after being discharged from the...
ahaan dani

Labor’s better: Year 5 student’s view

  As the 2022 Australian election looms, Australia has a choice: Liberals and Scott Morrison OR Labor and Anthony Albanese. I argue that Labor deserves...
khurram pervez and gautam adani

Adani, Khurram Parvez among TIME’s most influential people of 2022

  Industrialist Gautam Adani, Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy and Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez are amongst the TIME Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential...