Some people view me as an old soul. My nickname from some of my best friends is “Dad” because I have some habits that are…lets just say dad like. Between making terrible puns on a regular basis and and driving the ever economical and financially friendly 2016 hyundai sonata, I might as well be 50, with a wife, two kids, and a dog in some of my friends eyes. But of all my habits that would be deemed as older, one that I have been doing over the past month that has escalated my “Dadness” to a new level, is the fact that I go on 10 minute walks after most meals.
The idea of going on walks after meals is nothing new, it has been around for decades. You might have parents or even grandparents that do it, or maybe you’re already doing it yourself and you’re ahead of the game! It first resonated with me after I heard about the idea from elite level powerlifters and successful business men Stan Efferding and Mark Bell. I like to keep up on the information that they put out because they have both been successful in not only the lifting world but also in the business world. So I sometimes try some of the practices they advocate to see if they have any value for me, and the 10 minute walk happened to be one that they both suggested.
The Benefits of Post Meal Walking
The main reason why people do this is because it has been proven to aid in the digestion of food. It makes sense that people who are a bit older would be more inclined to participate in this practice as your metabolism slows with age. This means instead of sitting in the stomach and feeling heavy, it generally moves quicker through digestion and also helps you get the most out of the metabolization process. Personally it allows me to feel full after I am done eating, since it takes about 15 minutes for the body to realize its full. I have had a problem with overeating in the past and this helps me combat that. If you are like me and sometimes overindulge at meals the post meal walks should be something you give a try.
Another benefit to post meal walking is that it can also help regulate your blood sugar levels. Check out this New York Times article that talks about some of the benefits of post meal walking, including blood sugar regulation. This helps me avoid getting that lethargic, I just want to take a nap, feeling after I eat in the morning and afternoon. I understand this is not always easy for some of you as you maybe eat in your office, or do not have time after breakfast, but if you just give yourself that extra ten minutes you might find a lot of benefit from it. Take it as an opportunity to get out of the office or to get a little head space before heading out to work.
Another benefit is that it gives you some time to get away from the screen. Today we are very attached to our electronics (ironic as I write this on the computer) but this can be a fantastic opportunity to unplug. It can be a chance to talk to a spouse without distraction, time to get outside a little more, or time to truly reflect upon our thoughts. Check out this blog post that Rene did about boredom and how it can benefit our deeper thinking abilities. The ten minute walks could be used to be bored! Watch the video in her post and it will make sense. I sometimes find myself in this kind of thinking state when I am walking. I don’t look at my phone, I don’t distract myself with an activity, I just walk and have random thoughts come into my head. Not necessarily anything groundbreaking but thoughts I might not have otherwise conjured had I been distracted with something else.
My challenge to you would be to do a ten minute walk three times a week (0r every other day) after dinner. It can be as simple as walking for five minutes in one direction and then five minutes back. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant. Take note of how you feel after the walking dinners, and after the non walking dinners. You might find that you like the effect the walking has on your physical state, or even your mental state. Give it a try while we still have some warm nights to go at the tail end of this heat!